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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. The weekly Meme wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading.

  • Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

Light the WayPeople rarely spoke about life before the virus, even those who were adults when the disease broke out. We’d been shown broadcasts at school about how people used to live, but it was definitely not considered acceptable dinner conversation.

~Light the Way by Joe Kipling

 

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Blinded by the Light by Joe Kipling

(The Union Trilogy Book 1)

Blinded by the light

In the near future, when the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the fortunate few live inside the Boundary, while the unlucky ones are left to die on the Outside. MaryAnn is one of the privileged. It doesn’t matter that her friends can sometimes be cruel or that the boy she likes just threw up on her shoes, it’s all about being noticed at the right parties.

But it takes a single event to rip her life apart.

Struggling with physical and psychological scars, MaryAnn must face up to the truth about the foundations of the Neighbourhood and the legacy of her family. Once she learns the truth she can never go back, but can she really put her faith in the Union?

Blinded by the Light is about death and coming to terms with loss, the abuse of power, discrimination and the fear of the unknown. It is the first book in The Union Trilogy.

This dystopian young adult fiction book set in the near future critiques aspects of society such as a preoccupation with celebrity, materialism and privilege. It Shows that in real life good and evil are never clear cut and we all have to decide what it means to ‘do the right thing’.

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My Review:

Set in a future where the population has been decimated by the Sandman Virus and the elite live in Neighbourhoods run by The Light Foundation. This was an enjoyable read, told from MaryAnn’s point of view.

MaryAnn’s father is an important man in The Light Foundation and at the start of the book MaryAnn has a perfect life, she’s a spoilt rich kid who has everything she wants.

After meeting her estranged brother, Daryl, at a party, disaster strikes and MaryAnn has to live with the Director of the Foundation. Although still rich and spoilt, she becomes isolated with only the Director’s daughter, Maud, for company.

When her brother contacts her again, she discovers he is a Unionist. The Unionists live outside of Neighbourhoods and know the truth behind The Light Foundation. As MaryAnn is introduced to other Unionist members, including her Uncle Patrick and Daryl’s friend, Peter, her beliefs are challenged, and her world changes from the ‘them and us’ attitude that she was brought up with.

The characters were well written and multi-dimensional, my favourites being MaryAnn and Peter. I loved seeing MaryAnn adapt and mature as the story went on, and the developing friendship between her and Peter, though it was heartbreaking watching the life she knew collapse around her.

The Author has done an amazing job of world building and how her society is structured, and it’s easy to imagine living there, either as one the elite or one of ‘outsiders’

Overall, a topnotch and imaginative start to a trilogy for young adults, and older adults also. I’ve already started Book 2, Light the Way.

About The Author:

Joe KiplingJoe Kipling is a West Yorkshire based young adult fiction writer with a lifelong passion for Sci-Fi, particularly the post-apocalyptic variety.

She currently lives in Holmfirth with her dog Kenny and is a full-time consultant and part-time writer.

A lifetime of travelling and avoiding near catastrophe has provided endless inspiration for The Union Trilogy.

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Five on Friday

Five on Friday

Five reviews that made my to-read list longer…

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The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

Reviewed on The Tattooed Book Geek

dragonsSome books start quite slowly, setting the scene, others, they start with a bang. The Rage of Dragons is one such book, starting with a bloody sword thrust through the chest cavity, one that explodes out the back in a profusion of action.

After fleeing their previous home, the land of Osonte and a catastrophe known as ‘The Cull‘ the Omehi are newly arrived on the shores of Xidda looking for a new home but the current population has other ideas. What follows is a violent battle (highlighting the powers of the Omehi Gifted and the strength of Winter’s ability to write detailed and dynamic battle scenes that populate the whole of The Rage of Dragons right from the get-go) and many die on both sides. The Hedeni (also known as the Xiddeen the original inhabitants of Xidda) are overwhelming the Omehi, with no wish to flee and as a last gasp, the last roll of the dice, the Omehi summon a guardian (dragon). The dragon turns the tides of the battle, the Omehi win and in Xidda they have a new home.

Continue reading this review.

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The Poison Song – Book 3 of The Winnowing Flame Trilogy by Jen Williams

Reviewed on Brainfluff

thepoisonsongI have thoroughly enjoyed the ongoing adventure in this excellent trilogy – read my reviews of The Ninth Rain and The Bitter Twins. The progression of this story, taking it from a straight epic fantasy adventure into a science fiction mash-up was masterfully handled, as are the steady revelations of new twists about aspects that we previously understood to be facts…

The very nature of the way Williams crafts her books makes it unlikely that you will be able to fully enjoy what is going on unless you read them in order – and as those of you who are regular visitors to my site know, I habitually crash midway into series without turning a hair. However, I wouldn’t want to make such a move with this series and strongly recommend that you don’t attempt it.

Continue reading this review.

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Beyond the Gravy by Mandy Morton

Reviewed on Auntie M Writes

beyond-gravyYou don’t have to be a cat person to take great delight in the world of cats created in Beyond the Gravy, Mandy Morton’s newest entry in the No. 2 Feline Detective series.

Hettie Bagshot and her partner Tilly have endured a long winter and are looking for a nice change in the weather and a new case to fill their coffers, when Tilly wins a contest that involves a cash prize and the promise of the duo traveling to Agatha Cripsy’s Devon home for tea.

But before that can happen, they are approached by psychic Irene Peggledrip, who has been having visits from a group of murdering spirits, intent on bringing chaos to her home. Hettie and Tilly are present for a round of, among other things, indoor snowstorms and a lovely Victoria sponge thrown against the bookshelves, to Tilly’s dismay, only a part of the hijinks these restless spirits produce.

Read more of this review.

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Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

Reviewed on Fictionophile

Sweet Little Lies“Good daughter. Bad cop”

Good cop. Bad daughter.

This is the conundrum Cat Kinsella finds herself in.

I read a lot of police procedurals and enjoy them very much. “Sweet Little Lies” was different in that the protagonist is not a Detective Inspector, or someone of high rank. She was a twenty-six year old Detective Constable with little experience on the murder squad. Unmarried, she rents an attic room from a family with young children. She likes her work and is good at it, yet she fears that family loyalty has jeopardized her career. She compromises her personal and professional ethics and is deeply conflicted over this. Also, Cat is still reeling from emotional trauma she experienced on her last case. She drinks too much. She is obsessed with fairness and justice.

Read more of this review.

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Infinity 7: Gods Among Men

Reviewed on Literary Titan

Infinity 7A superhero mashup from the talented minds of Cosby, Dodds, and Champion containing all your favorite characters from the authors own respected series. These three well-accomplished authors team up to produce an ambitious novel. At times this story works well and seamlessly provides a world where these superheroes can come together and fight yet falls short to bridge the gap between each story line and harness a collective voice among the numerous characters.

Infinity 7 begins with the rise of a dark power. As the growing threat draws closer to earth the Capes, Majesties and Solar Warriors band together to solve the mystery of their fearsome foe and hold their own against the escalating violence around them.

Read more of this review.

Moon Sworn by J.F. Holland

(The Bound Series #1)

Moon Sworn is an introduction to ‘The Bound Series’, (Heated Shifter Romance). The story and the characters continue throughout the PNR Serial. (Not a standalone).

 
35267975At 4-years old Maya Rawlings witnessed her own father horrifically murder her mother. Brought up by an older aunt she knows nothing of her family history.

She wants a family of her own to make up for all that she’s lost, but it’s difficult to achieve when she’s not attracted to anyone. That is until the night of her 21st birthday when a strange mark appears on the palm of her hand. The mark was followed by re-currant nightmares of fleeing for her life, and the voice of a man offering her things she’s always dreamed of. Is he real or is she finally losing her mind?

Jaden Matthews is a loner who never settles in one place. He doesn’t do forever, not after the murder of his parents and younger brother. That is until fate decides to step in and a mark appears on his hand, it seems he now has a mate.

After waiting for 21-years for her to mature, the clock is now ticking. First, he needs to find her and his search leads him back to a place he’d vowed never to return. He’s not the only one there hunting her though.

Can he use his skills to not only get rid of the threat to her life but also persuade her to agree to the binding? Or will he be destined to walk a limited lifespan alone, as the animal he becomes?

Contains erotic scenes and profanity.

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My Review:

An entertaining shifter mystery romance with suspense, humour and some steamy scenes.

 
Even though they had never met, Maya has been dreaming about Jaden for the past five years, and Jaden has been searching for Maya, his mate. Not everything goes to plan however when they meet.

Both Maya and Jaden have tragic pasts, and they’re not the only ones, other members of the supernatural community have been targeted by rogue shifters. When Maya’s life is threatened, her friends, Binks and Sam, help Jaden protect her and her newly found family members from danger.

I enjoyed meeting the cast of diverse and complex characters that are gradually introduced. I hope we get to know more about the other characters in future books. Maya is smart and sassy, and is no pushover and although to begin with, Jaden comes across as a pushy alpha male, he also has a much softer and caring side.

I like the way the author has built a supernatural community in the quiet village of Lunaton, living side by side with unsuspecting humans, and the way she has tied in things like crop-circles to that community.

 
This is the first book I’ve read by JF Holland, and it was a super introduction to The Bound Series. I will certainly be reading more.

 

The Author

J_F_HollandI still live in the small town in Partington in Manchester, UK. I was born at home on January 10th 1968. Now a wife and mother, I live with my husband and 6 children, and a small menagerie of animals, still in the town I was born, raised, and attended school.

I’ve always loved the underdog, the fighter. But, let’s face it, we all want to believe in a happily ever after. As a huge fan of books (book nerd is the endearing term, my children use), as I have an immense romance collection (which also includes paranormal romance). It usually means if I’m not writing, I’ve got my head stuck in a good book.

You can’t beat reading. I love watching the plot and characters come to life in my imagination; so much better than television. When I was younger, I tended to re-write books and fairy-tales where I wasn’t completely happy with the ending. It confused the hell out of my children once they learned to read as none of the books matched the stories I’d been reading to them growing up.

Until I became ill, I had a varied career including Admin, Customer Service, and Teaching unemployed adults IT and customer service skills. I’m now at home full time, classed as disabled (neuro fog can make life, and writing fun and challenging at times). So instead of twiddling my thumbs and feeling sorry for myself, I decided it was time I started to do something which I love with my life. So, I began to write my own stories again, it keeps my mind active and it’s fun. I’m also happy to receive feedback about my books (stories) or just to connect :-

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A Perfect Lie by Lisa Renee Jones

A Perfect Lie Blog Tour
Title: A Perfect Lie
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

 

Secrets. Lies. A man. There’s always a man. And there’s always a truth to be told. 

Pl CoverI’m Hailey Anne Monroe. I’m twenty-eight years old. An artist, who found her muse on the canvas because I wasn’t allowed to have friends or even keep a journal. And yes, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m that Hailey Anne Monroe, daughter to Thomas Frank Monroe, the man who was a half-percentage point from becoming President of the United States. If you were able to ask him, he’d probably tell you that I was the half point. But you can’t ask him, and he can’t tell you. He’s dead. They’re all dead and now I can speak.

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Excerpt:

“Can I join you?” he asks, motioning to the table.

There’s interest in his eyes, the kind a man has for a woman, but who knows, maybe it’s real or maybe it’s not real. Maybe he knows who I am and sees a path to power and fame. The way Tobey wanted me for money and power, right up until the moment I’d called his number aka his agenda; thus, he has not called me since I left. Maybe Harvard will lie even better than Tobey did. Maybe Harvard will at least kiss better than he did, and the lies would taste like temptation rather than convenience. At least then, if I’m used, I’ll enjoy being used.

Whatever the case, it’s clear I might actually be angry with Tobey and that aside, the interest that Harvard has shown in me, must be controlled before my Denver sanctuary is destroyed. “You can join me,” I say, “but only because I’m trying to save the rest of the place from the attorney in the house.”

I am pleased when Harvard laughs, where Tobey would have scowled, proving that Harvard has a sense of humor, which is rare for those in my life. I’ve barely completed this thought when he moves forward and claims the seat next to me, not across from me, settling his briefcase on that chair instead. In the process, his leg brushes my leg and for the briefest of moments, I’m transported back to the place that I’m now trying to forget: to Austin, to Drew’s leg next to mine, his wink, and I do now what I did then. I jerk back. If Harvard notices he doesn’t react. “Since we haven’t been formally introduced,” he says, resting his naked hands on the table. “I’m Logan. Logan Casey.”

“Logan Casey,” I repeat trying to ground myself in the present, at least for now, but some part of me is still swimming in that memory, which naturally has me wondering if this man is a shark in the water around me. “Two first names,” I add. “Sounds like your parents fought over who got to pick your first name. Did they draw straws for which choice became your middle name?”

“You’re actually right on target,” he says, laughing again, and it’s a nice, masculine laugh, and oddly this thought feels familiar while Logan does not. “No one has ever guessed that,” he adds. “My mother won the name war. The women always win. Speaking of names. Do you have one?”

“Hailey Anne Pitt,” I say, “and in my house, my father won the name war.” Because in my father’s world, I add silently, the women don’t win the wars. At least, not that he knows, not in an obvious way. I’ve learned this well.

“Well then, Hailey Anne Pitt,” he says, “what’s a Stanford girl like you, doing in a place like this? You’re a long way from school.”

I’m smacked in the face with a lesson I’ve long ago learned and forgotten with this man; strangers do not always remain strangers and all offhanded remarks can come back to haunt you. “That was a joke,” I say, shutting the door connected to my real life, and a path that leads to my father. “I hate attorneys, remember?”

He narrows his eyes on me, and for no reason other than instinct, I believe he’s looking for a lie that he won’t find. I’m simply too well-taught from birth, too skilled at being more than one person to allow such a detection. Well that, and the fact that I really do hate attorneys, which is why I’ll be a good one.

“That was a joke?” he confirms.

“Yes,” I say. “Are you amused?”

“Yes, actually. I am. What does a lawyer-hating smart ass like yourself do for a living?”

“When not busy taunting those who went to law school,” I say. “I’m an aspiring artist.” Both honest answers, if you put a “was” in front of the “aspiring artist” which I’d thought that I’d come to terms with, but the knot in my stomach says I have not.

Logan motions toward the art room. “Your career explains why you ended up here.”

“I guess it does,” I say, as this place serves me well to reconnecting to the Pitt part of my life, which is a place I really need to be right now, for all kinds of reasons.

“Are you good?” Logan asks, as if he’s read my mind.

My father’s words answer him in my head. Art is useless unless you’re famous, he used to say often, because of course, it was inconceivable that I might be good enough to be famous. “Art is like movies and food,” I say, shoving aside that bad memory. “Good is subjective.” I don’t give him time to reply. I ping the conversation back toward him. “What kind of law do you practice?”

“Corporate,” he says, and this time he pings back to me. “Do you live in the neighborhood?”

“Yes,” I say simply. “Do you?”

“I bought a building a few years ago where I live and work which means this is my home turf, and why I know you’re new here.”

“I am,” I say and since he’s clearly going to ask for details, I quickly preempt with an on-the-fly story. Actually, it’s the suggested story, Rudolf included in my file. “I came here for a job, and my new boss owns a house he’s rented to me for dirt cheap.”

“And what does an artist do but create art for a living?”

“I’m working for a private art acquisitions firm. I now hunt for treasures for a living.” This lie is actually my dream job that I’ve never been allowed to entertain. 

The horror flick loving waitress delivers my coffee and brownie. “Thank you,” I say, because every politician’s daughter has manners beaten into her.

“No problem,” she says, “but if you come to your senses and want a better version of that coffee, just shout.” She eyes Logan. “I already know you want a crappy tasting coffee, on endless pour and a chocolate chip cookie. Coming right up.”

“Thanks, Megan,” he says, giving her a wink that I don’t classify as flirtatious, just friendly, and Megan is gone.

“Obviously you’re a regular,” I comment, “and they even like you.”

“And they like me,” he confirms, “despite knowing I’m an attorney.

“Because you’re good looking and use it to your advantage.”

He arches a brow. “You think I’m good looking, do you?”

“Oh, come on,” I say, crinkling my nose. “Everyone thinks you’re good looking. I’m simply stating a fact. We use what we have and those of us that are smart, know what we have.” I move on from what is really quite inconsequential. “Why work here, not at home, or in the office?”

“I find I get a lot of work done with a cookie, coffee, and no access to streaming television,” he explains.

No one in my D.C. crowd would make an admission of being human and distractible. Some people in my situation might take comfort in that fact, but I don’t. Logan’s an attorney, and my gut, which I’ll confirm with research, says he’s a powerful one, the kind that radiates toward my father. Maybe that’s a coincidence and maybe it’s not. Maybe he’s testing how well I execute my cover story. The possibilities are many. Though in all fairness to Logan, perhaps I’d lean toward his innocence, if not for the laundry list of recent events such as Tobey being gay and the FBI agent, who is likely working for my father, that I slept with to prove I was a) still desirable and b) not a killer.

 
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About Lisa:

Lisa Renee JonesNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed Inside Out series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s Inside Out series, she has published many successful titles. The Tall, Dark And Deadly series and The Secret Life Of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling White Lies and Lilah Love series.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

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PL5

The Haunting by Karen J Mossman

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The HauntingWhen a man-mountain of a guy walks into a café and asks for you by name, you sit up and take notice. Cassie is instantly attracted to Damien Mathers, who is also a World Super Bike Champion. He wants her help to banish a ghost. However, Cassie explains she is a clairvoyant, not an exorcist. Damien though, is very persuasive!

The Haunting takes Cassie on a journey she won’t forget. A ghost who leaves her un-nerved and scared – not because of it, but what it unleases within her.

Damien doesn’t believe in the paranormal, until he witness something he can’t explain. He also falling in love, but how can he love her dark side?

Can Cassie hold on to Damien? Can she banish the ghosts and save her relationship?

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Excerpt:

Damien and Daniel were very much alike, and I much preferred Damien, which was just as well, really. Their look and build were so similar they could have been twins, but they weren’t.

Rachel was saying, “Every encounter I’ve had with her has been on the stairs or the landing. I even heard her name whispered. That’s why I knew it. I couldn’t believe it when you said it out loud, Cassie. Have you come across something like this before?”

The waitress arrived and took our orders. When she left, they looked at me expectantly.

“Nothing surprises me anymore. Your ghost seems intent on reliving the day she died. She was a slave brought into the country and then someone killed her.”

Rachel gasped, Daniel and Damien appeared sceptical and Damien said, “Come on, how can you possibly know that…”

“I saw someone at the top of the stairs, they moved away as I looked up.”

“They’re not real, y’know,” Damien said.

Rachel answered him. “Then how do you explain what happened?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know, it’s just bizarre.”

“It is.” I agreed.

“Well, I’m sorry,” Rachel said, emphatically. “There is no way I’m moving in with her walking up and down the stairs like that.”

Daniel huffed, his eyes gazing heavenwards with expirations. “This is going well!”

“So, what’s next?” Rachel asked, looking at me. Her large eyes blinked several times, and I think she expected me to perform a miracle.

“All I can tell you is what you already know. The house is haunted. I don’t know if I can stop it if that’s what you’re expecting.”

 
“Karen J Mossman manages something quite unique. This is a story that will make you laugh and scare you at the same time.”

 

Author Bio:

Karen J MossmanKaren lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.

All Karen’s books are in collections – The Decade Series, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.’ She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books.

Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, “It’s especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books.”

She has also participated in several anthologies.

“Cassie came to me one night and the following morning I wrote a short story. I found myself really liking her, she was funny, sassy, and had a great relationship with her brother. Two more stories followed and I ended up with four stories which I put into a book and called in The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold.

I was then challenged to write a short story featuring a hot male and motor sport of some kind. So I decided to make it a Cassie Newbold story.”

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Other Electric Eclectic books by Karen J Mossman:

One Christmas
Distant Time
Down by the River
A Cry in the Night
Play the Game
Found!
Toxic

 
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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Retriever of Souls by Lorraine Mace

(D.I. Sterling Book 1)

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The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.
Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.

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My Review:

I really enjoyed this great British crime drama. It’s the first of a series and I’m already looking forward to reading the next.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling’s personal life is a mess. He’s separated from his wife and has high hopes of getting back with her, and his teenage daughter, Katy, is going off the rails. His professional life isn’t faring any better. His new partner, Detective Sergeant Dave Johnson,  is obnoxious and has no respect for women.  Add to that, the fact that someone is murdering prostitutes and dumping their bodies in rubbish dumps and there aren’t any leads.

While we follow Paolo as he deals with his complicated relationships and tries to solve the case, we also get a close look at the murderer. The villain was brought up by a religious zealot who taught him that sex was a sin, and he believes that by killing the women he is saving their souls.

There is much more to this book than the crime and solving of it. It’s a character-driven book and they are well written and relatable… easy to like, or hate. It was interesting to watch them and their various relationships evolve and grow.

This was a gripping, gritty, and, at times, gruesome thriller, with interesting characters, a number of suspects, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

 

About The Author:

Retriever of Souls - Lorraine MaceWhen not working on her crime novels, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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