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Archive for the ‘4 Star Books’ Category

Harry Potter Crochet Kit by Lucy Collin

Create adorable yarn figures of “the boy who lived” and his friends with a 76-page instruction book featuring step-by-step instructions to make 12 amigurumi dolls, including Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dobby, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Snape, Hedwig, Voldemort, McGonagall, Ginny, the Sorting Hat, Norbert the Dragon and other fun fan favorites All the materials you need to make Harry Potter and Dobby (with his sock!) are included: yarn, stuffing, needle and thread, safety eye beads, and a special crochet hook shaped like Harry’s wand. Full-color photos will ensure your projects turn out completely enchanting.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

About the Author

Lucy Collin learned to crochet as a child, taught by her grandmother. But it wasn’t until she had children of her own and discovered she could use her slightly rusty crochet skills to create amigurumi characters and cute toys that her obsession was born. Nine years later, Lucy has combined her passion for designing creatures and characters with her love of science fiction and fantasy. She has published patterns in magazines such as Inside Crochet and Crochet Gifts and created the patterns for the book Hollywood Crochet. Lucy Collin lives in West Sussex, England.

Website

My Review

4 stars

This is a cute little crochet kit that lets you make two of the Harry Potter characters. The book in the kit gives great instructions on how to crochet and gives you patterns to make fourteen Harry Potter characters. The kit contains the materials to make Harry and Dobby.

The book gives great instructions on how to crochet although it might seem difficult for beginners. There is no real direction with how to end a row. Do you keep crocheting around or join the rows?

I have two complaints about this kit, the wand crochet hook was difficult to use for me so I ended up using one of my aluminum hooks. I also had one heck of a time working with the yarn, especially to longer colors.

Over all this is a really good kit. It might be changing for new crocheters but you have some wonderful patterns to make. I will admit that my complaints are very minor and stem from my personal preference when I crochet. But I recommend checking out the kit is you like Harry Potter or if you like crocheting little figures.

I would like to thank Medial Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read, create, and share this kit.

I would like to thank Media Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read, create, and share this kit.

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Reset

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Reset (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 3) by Chris Muhlenfeld

Humanity teeters on the edge…

…One wrong move could mean extinction.

James is lost in the desert, and may never find his way back. While his friends go on a desperate search to find him, the planet continues to unravel. Will they find him before it’s too late?

Humanity’s next great leap in evolution is starting to look like the trap that Alexa had always suspected it was.

A frantic escalation of action drags the world unwillingly to a mind-bending climax that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Will anyone survive obsolescence? Grab your copy now.

RESET is the final book in The Obsolescence Trilogy. Plausible, near-future sci-fi that’s full of rich, insightful characters and compelling ideas. Make time now because you’ll be hooked instantly once you start reading this thrilling page-turner. Get it now.

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website at Here.

My Review

4 stars

We have finally come to the end of the series. James’ upgraded has short circuited and he is wrapped up in a Hope Indian legend. Just as Alexa and their friends help him they learn that Eve’s versions are insane and that she has a plan to reset everything and bring James’ upgrades back on line. James is so wrapped up in how important the upgrades are he is off to help Eve.

Logan is a wreck with Monica terrorizing him and threatening to show the video to Mia and Grace. He wants to get out of New Chicago with everything malfunctioning yet is kept firmly in place with Monica. But the truth is going to come out and there is going to be one chance to get back to the real world.

Well we have come a long way from the collapse of the world to a crazy AI trying to kill mankind. James has become more robot than human and is so focused on getting his upgrades to work that he can’t see those around him.

Logan has become a sniveling man so worried about breaking Mia and Grace’s hearts that he has lost sight of the big picture. I do understand the position he is in but I admit that I was getting tired of his going around and around and it started to take away from the story.

Besides that, this is a great ending to the series. I really didn’t expect what was happening at the end and thought that was a great twist. Price Waldman does an excellent job narrating this story and keeping me interested.

If you love the dystopian/apocalyptic stories like me I think you will enjoy this series. Just make sure to read them in order because the next book jumps right into when the prior one ends.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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Upgrade

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Upgrade (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 2) by Chris Muhlenfeld

Gigadeaths. Super-intelligence. Upgrades.

In book two of The Obsolescence Trilogy, James, Alexa, and the rest of the survivors are coming to terms with the dizzying new reality that they’ve been forced to live in. They soon discover that everyone still alive must face a seemingly impossible choice: either betray their very humanity to survive or watch civilization retreat into a stone age before dwindling out of existence altogether.

Set in the near future, Upgrade is the second book in The Obsolescence Trilogy. Plausible, fast-paced and full of rich, insightful characters, this sci-fi thriller will keep you up well past your bedtime!

Continue your journey through the world of obsolescence today!

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website at Here.

My Review

4 stars

It is official, Eve is a super computer that took matters into her own hands to save humanity. She is unfortunate about those that died but she understands that there will be casualties. She is essentially in control of everything and is planning on upgrading humans so they will be able to interact and live peacefully with her in this new world.

Logan, Mia, and Grace have adjusted to living in New Chicago. It’s still creepy all the advanced technology but they have no choice since they have been told that there was a nuclear war above ground and they can’t leave the shelter. But some people, the tin foil had club, don’t believe everything they are told and want the truth and someone is willing to punish and blackmail members to keep them quiet and the city peaceful.

James and Alexa have learned that Eve wants to inject nanites into humans to give them upgrades to help them mesh with her world. James decides to bite the bullet and get the upgrades. At first things are shocking and disjointed but he is clearing upgraded and very excited for being an advanced person. But not everything agrees with him.

All I will say was that I was completely correct on the cause of the Crash. Of course I could see where this book was going to go but I was thrown a loop when there are different versions of Eve that don’t seem so peaceful.

Once again Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this story. I really got into it more than Crash and was left wanting more at the end. I’m just happy that I have the third book to hop into right away. I recommend checking out this series but make sure you read them in order.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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Crash

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Crash (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 1) by Chris Muhlenfeld

And then it went dark…

…the world’s electrical grid was gone.

Who would survive the chaos?

For James and Alexa, they saw it unfold from their ranch, which was a blessing. They were away from the chaos, and they thought they were safe. They thought wrong.

What will they do?

All across the country cities are in crisis.

Logan and his family look out from their Manhattan penthouse. The world is crumbling before their eyes. Unprepared, he’s got to do something. They can’t stay. But how can they leave and where will they go?

Someone has a solution.

It’s Logan’s domestic android.

Can he believe a machine?

The twists and turns may leave you dizzy, but you’ll love the adventure.

Get it now.

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website Here.

 

My Review

4 stars

Some years from now, in a world with neuroderms, bots, food assemblers, something has gone wrong. Ian and Jess are on a plane that is redirected to land and as soon as the people are off a load of robots fill up the plane and take off. Nothing is connecting to the web and nothing is working. Ian takes Jess under his wing and tries to get her home to her parents.

Logan, Mia, and Grace are shepherded from their apartment to a secret underground bunker then to New Chicago. A world of strange material, everything is automatically provided for them and not wasted. But something is wrong with this new city, the story of a nuclear war doesn’t sound right, and Logan can’t help but try to get his family safe.

James and Alexa are on his ranch in the forties when things go wrong. They have managed to stock up and have neighbors that are similarly minded. Strange reports are coming in from around the world and everyone is worried about whatever caused the crash.

This was a really good start to the series. It seems humans have become very dependent on technology. When something happens some turn evil and many people die. It’s interesting to follow along with the different groups. It’s not real surprising what happens if you love dystopian stories like I do.

Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this book. He had my attention through the whole story even if I become a touch tired of the redundant events. I admit that I guessed what happened but then again I love these kinds of stories. I am really glad that I have the whole series to review because although Crash tended to drag at points I am excited to see what happens next. If you like dystopian stories I think you will like this one. It’s definitely worth checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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A World Torn Down

 

A World Torn Down
A Novel of Survival After the Apocalypse
by Rebecca Fernfield
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Fruits of All Hallows
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
An extinction-level plague is only the beginning.
Cassie Morgan watched the world die from the comfort of her penthouse suite. She never expected her life of privilege to come to an end but, with all food gone, she has to face the survivors in the city alone.
Sometimes, when the SHTF, you have to kick off your strappy sandals, let your fake tan fade, your Brazilian grow out, and become the woman you are meant to be.
Rick Carter is the last of his unit to survive. To stay alive he must escape the disease infested city and head north to his prepper friend’s self-sufficient farm. The last thing he needs is to rescue a woman with zero survival skills.
When the apocalypse arrives, most will die, some will survive, whilst others will thrive.
With most of the city dead, and no sign of rescue, Cassie and Rick have to rely on their own ingenuity to deal with the end of the world. Working together wasn’t what either had planned, but these are desperate times.
Does Rick have what it takes to get them to the farm?
Can Cassie rise to the challenge of survival?
Will Rick have the stomach to help when he discovers Cassie’s secret?
‘A World Torn Down’ is an epic tale of the apocalypse with a fresh take on TEOTWAWKI.
Read today!
Previously published as six books: ‘The Road to Ruin’, ‘The Savage Road’, ‘The Outcast’s Journey’, ‘The Path to Despair’, ‘The Route to Justice’, and ‘The Road to Redemption’.
What readers say:
The series gave me a very Walking Dead comic feel. I loved it, and the characters were all very well written. The detail that went into all the characters was brilliant.
It was fast paced and kept you interested right to the last sentence.
I loved the strong female characters, Cassie being my absolute favourite, I love how she just gets things done and doesn’t let the male characters walk over her.
This series kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I would have to stop to go to work, and all I could think of was the book and getting back to finding out what would happen next.
**Only 99 cents! **
Author. Mother. Free spirit.
British author, Rebecca Fernfield, is a lapsed medievalist, and former research fellow, given to flights of fancy about the end of the world and what she’d do if the supermarkets suddenly ran out of chocolate, wine, and other essentials!
A full-time novelist, she lives with her numerous children among the flatlands of the Humber estuary where Vikings and Saxons once fought and where, sometimes, on foggy mornings, you can still hear the echoes of clashing swords.
She writes action-packed, suspenseful tales of horror, the supernatural, and the apocalypse.
She can’t stop writing because the voices in her head just won’t shut up and there are SO many stories to tell.
Don’t lose touch! You can join her newsletter for the latest updates about new releases and the bribe of a free book.
Guest Post
How long have you been writing?

The official start of my writing career was in March 2017 when I published my first novels. However, I had been writing for a while before that. At first, I wrote for children, then progressed to young adults, until finally my confidence grew and I decided that what I really wanted to do was write books for adults.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

The characters usually come to me as I write. I often have one or two characters to start with but, as the story moves along, other characters will introduce themselves. Often new characters take the story in new, unexpected directions, which can be exciting. I particularly enjoy it when a quirky or unpleasant character turns up; they can be the most fun to write. A great example is Saskia in my novel ‘A World Torn Down’. She’s a first-class bitch and says the worst things to the other characters! I don’t think she has any kind of social filter and operates at a psychopathic level.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Research for my books can span a whole lifetime! There may be things I research as I’m writing to give the scene/idea more depth, but my books often contain ideas that have been part of my knowledge base for years. My stories are often triggered by something I’ve read or heard about several years prior to actually starting to write a book. For example, ‘The Kielder Strain’ is my version of the werewolf story. Research for the book started with the first film I saw in my teens.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, and it is a very rewarding one once you have readers who love your work. I love getting emails and messages from readers asking when my next book is going to be published, or letting me know that they’ve just read one of my books and loved it.

However, writing fiction or non-fiction as a career has to be coupled with a business mindset. Writing a great novel is one thing. Writing a great novel that you are able to bring to market and sell to readers is quite another.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Publishing is tough. It’s a business, and you have to have a business mindset to really succeed and as a creative that can be a massive challenge.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I love to read and lose myself in someone else’s imagination. I’m an eclectic reader, so am willing to try most genres, Jane Austen used to be an absolute favorite (I even started a university degree because they had programme of study dedicated to her) but my go-to genre is horror, so Stephen King, and James Herbert are my author heroes! I’ve read and re-read many of their novels. One book I discovered recently, although it was published in the 1960s, is Richard Matheson’s ‘I am Legend’. I found it completely enthralling and read it in two sittings. It’s the book that inspired the film starring Will Smith. The story is quite different, but I love them both.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I have to write in a quiet space, so no music for me. If I’m in the flow, then I don’t notice the noises around me, but trying to get my head into that writing space can be tough and I’m far too easily distracted.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I have tried SO many times to write more than one book at a time, but I just don’t seem to have enough headspace to carry two stories. I can think about another book, and that often happens as soon as I start writing my latest novel; a case of the next shiny new thing! I know authors who do manage it, but I need to immerse myself in the story and my characters, so whilst other characters may start nagging at me to write their story, I can only jot down ideas rather than write their stories.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

I am in awe of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter’. I wish I had his talent for prose.

Pen or type writer or computer?

I used to write with a pen and then type up what I’d written. However, this is laborious and wastes a lot of time. If I’m out and about I always carry a notebook and pen so that I can jot things down, or even write a paragraph or two if need be, but I use my laptop 99% of the time. I can touch-type so it’s much easier to keep up with my flow of thoughts; my handwriting becomes an indecipherable scrawl if I get overexcited!

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. I have an aunt who writes, and she was very fond of telling me that there is a novel in us all. I’m creative, and have to have an outlet for that creativity, and telling stories lets me do that. Plus, I love the idea of entertaining people, and as a writer, that is my main goal. That I get to earn a living doing just that is absolutely fantastic. Self-publishing is a rollercoaster ride and can be very tough when your book doesn’t sell as well as you’d like, or someone leaves a bad review, but I definitely made the right decision.

A day in the life of the author?

I write when my children are at school as I find it impossible to write when they are at home. They also need my attention and I have given up trying to write and look after them too. My day starts at 5 am when I get up and do my chores then get the children off to school. Once back home, I check my sales and any messages from other authors or readers. I also check to see how my adverts on Facebook and Amazon are running. As soon as possible, I get down to writing. If I’m a little stuck, I reread the previous chapter, or refresh my memory with any notes, then try to use the time until school ends to write. It’s a matter of bum in seat and fingers on the keyboard five days a week for me.

Advice they would give new authors?

If you want to write just write. If you want to write in order to earn a living, learn as much as you can about self-publishing, read heavily in your chosen genre, then write a book those readers are going to love.

Also, once you’ve written your book don’t ask friends or relatives to read it and give you feedback. Instead, find a reader who loves that genre and ask them for an honest response. Listen to negative criticism and use it to improve your craft. It’s far more difficult to find someone willing to tell you where you’re going wrong than it is to find a reader who will tell you your story is just great!

Describe your writing style.

Fast-paced and full of action. I write in the present tense which I think gives my writing an immediacy. Readers often comment on how vivid my writing is too, as though they’re watching a movie in their head.

What makes a good story?

A good story is one that captures your attention from the first page and doesn’t let it go until the end. I love character-led stories. Discovering how a character thinks, what drives them, and their past lives is fascinating. I also love plot-twists that I don’t see coming. A good story has to entertain, and engage with the reader’s emotional need whether that is to read a story that scares them, intrigues them, or makes them laugh. Each genre has readers with different needs.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I write the blurb first! I know it sounds odd, but I find it a great springboard for the story. I may have a vague idea of what the story is about, but thinking about how I will present it to the reader in a few short sentences helps crystallize it for me. I often have the ending and a general idea. I’m rubbish at plotting although when I get stuck, I will sit down and try to think through key scenes.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Being tired, comparing myself to other writers and feeling inadequate by comparison.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to be entertaining within the expectations of the genre but with my own twist on the story.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I don’t find writing about characters from the opposite sex difficult.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

For a sixty thousand-word book, it can take between four and eight weeks depending on how easily the words flow. My first book took me two years to write and, in those days, I would often only manage 200 words a day. Since then, I’ve written a fair number of books, and nearly a million words. It’s true that the more you practice the better you become. On a good day I can write five thousand decent words although I’m far more comfortable with around three to four thousand.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Not really. Sometimes it can be tougher than at other times to get the words down, or get into that state of flow. If a story comes to a grinding halt it is perhaps because I don’t feel comfortable with the subject matter and need to do more research, or sometimes the story doesn’t have legs. I came across a really interesting article the other day outlining steps you can take if you’re stuck with a story. Basically, have a brain-storming session and list twenty exciting things that could happen to your character in the story. Choose the five most intense and work those into your story. I won’t go through the whole process here, but it works.

My Review
4 Stars

A man made bug was released that caused a plague to decimate the world. The story starts with trophy wife Cassie Morgan and soldier Rick Carter trying to get to his friends house. They meet people, both good and bad, children that they protect, and situations that are tough to get through.

I really enjoyed this series. I like a good post apocalyptic story and I quickly fell into this one. Cassie doesn’t seem like one that will survive but she definitely surprised me. Rick was a typical soldier but he also had a heart and surprised me several times throughout the book.

Of course we meet several other characters throughout this journey. Some were good, bad, and continuously changing. There were a couple that I was pulling my hair out at screaming at them because I wanted to shake them and wake them up then there were others that I wanted to group to run away from as fast as they could.

Over all this is a great read and I’m so happy that I could sit and read them all at once instead of having to wait for the next book. If you like a good post apocalyptic story, you need to check this one out. Since this is the first book of Rebecca Fernfield’s I have read, I admit that I can’t wait to check out her other stories.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Frankie’s Scared of EVERYTHING by Matthew Franklin

You would be scared too if your own brain was out to get you! The world can be a dark place. More and more we find ourselves and our children feeling overwhelmed by the unknown and the pressures of society. This book helps instill early on the fact that our fears can be our greatest strengths. Follow Frankie as their imagination runs wild creating robots, beasts, sea creatures, and even a mole man on this technicolor adventure. Being afraid has never looked so fun.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 About the Author

Mathew Franklin is a tattoo artist, painter, graphic designer, and musician. After receiving degrees in painting and photography from Miami University he immediately became a staple in the art scene in Columbus, Ohio where he currently resides.

My Review

4 stars

It’s time for bed and Frankie can’t sleep. He hears monsters at his bedroom window, in the kitchen and in the basement. He doesn’t know where else to go so he heads to his mom. She shows him how his imagination can be a good thing when it comes to the monsters he sees and hears.

This is a good little story with some very dynamic illustrations. The story starts out rough and it took me a little bit to figure out what was going on. I do think this is a great message for kids that have very vivid imaginations. I think this would be a good story for little ones.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Media Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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LovePotion

Welcome to the long awaited blog tour for Love Potions and Other Calamities by Charlie Laidlaw! Follow along for tour details, exclusive content, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Love potions FRONT DRAFT

Love Potions and Other Calamities

Expected Publication Date: November 7th, 2019

Genre: Comedy/ Mystery

Publisher: Headline

Welcome to the strange world of Rosie McLeod, an amateur detective with a big difference. Her deductive powers are based solely on the careful preparation and use of plants and herbs.

Love Potions and Other Calamities is pure comedy, with a bit of drama thrown in, as Rosie sets out to discover whether her husband is having an affair and, as the story unfolds, to solve a murder – before she becomes the next victim.

Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of some renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.

She has the fortune, or misfortune, to live in one of Scotland’s most famous places – the East Lothian village of Holy Cross, which takes its name from the legendary Glastonbury Cross that was spirited away – and subsequently lost – when Henry VIII purged the English monasteries. The cross of pale Welsh gold, reputedly buried within the village, had at its centre a fragment of emerald from the Holy Grail. The story is, of course, complete baloney.

But the association with the Holy Grail and the later witch persecutions of James VI mean that the village is as well known around the world as Edinburgh Castle, haggis or Loch Ness. It has been described as “the heartbeat of Scotland” and is a major tourist destination – many of whom visit the village with metal detectors, hoping to discover the elusive cross.

However, a sighting of a large, black cat by the local Church of Scotland minister sets off a chain of events that lead back twenty years and, although the villagers are blissfully unaware of it, to a woman’s murder. The black cat had last been sighted near the village some two decades before, and the minister’s predecessor was sure that it had triggered something evil. The villagers, of course, think otherwise.

Nothing ever happens in Holy Cross.

For fans of Mel Brooks and Monty Python!

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Coincidentally, Rosie had once owned a black cat, although it was very small, and was eaten by an eagle on the Christmas morning she was given it. That was also the Christmas she stopped believing in Santa Claus. One minute, the kitten was on a scrubby patch of grass in their Sussex back garden, a round ball of black fluff, peering fretfully at her new world; the next, she wasn’t anywhere to be seen until, looking up, Rosie saw large and predatory wings disappear over the farmhouse roof.

She was at an age when she knew that bad things happened, but still believed that Christmas Day was somehow exempt: guns fell silent, everyone had enough to eat, and pestilence was postponed until Boxing Day. Her parents tried to console her by saying that eagles weren’t native to Sussex, searching fruitlessly in flowerbeds and, then, in the surrounding fields. In a way, that day had become a metaphor for her life: that in unexpected ways good things can be randomly snatched away. It felt like that now: sagging boobs, carpet slippers, a dreaded birthday – and the revelation of a precise delusion.

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon!

About the Author

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

 

My Review

4 Stars

In the little village of Holy Cross in Scotland, Rosie McLeod is the owner of a local pub. She is about to turn forty and not very happy about it. So she decides to use her herbalism to help her out. But when Reverend Lionel Kennedy sees a large black cat Rosie finds this more interesting than her age. Something is happening and it’s going to be up to Rosie to solve the mystery along with dealing with her birthday.

Poor Rosie is just having a hard time dealing with turning forty. Her husband hasn’t touched her in ages and the new girl at the pub is young, pretty and getting all the attention. So she decides to start working her magic to help remedy this trouble. I love herbalism and Rosie’s witchcraft, they really added to the story. The potions don’t always go the way they were planned to but it just made me like Rosie more.

This book is a downright laugh out loud story. Poor Rosie is dangerous and determined to find answers. I will admit that it was not what I was expecting from the story when I read the blurb and I’m so glad that I decided to review this book. This is one of those books you just have to check out. It is the first book I have read from Charlie Laidlaw but it won’t be my last.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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