Blog Tour | Urbane’s 12 Days of Christmas: The Gift Maker by Mark Mayes *Author Q&A & #Giveaway* @urbanebooks

Welcome to my stop on the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour, hosted by Urbane Publications. I’m delighted to bring you a Q&A with Mark Mayes, author of The Gift Maker, and a chance to win a copy of his novel.

But first, a bit about Mark:

Mark Mayes author pic
Author photo is courtesy of Tina White

Before becoming a writer, Mark trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He subsequently worked in theatre and television for several years, both in the UK and abroad. He has worked variously as a cleaner, care-worker and carer, salesman, barman, medical transcriptionist, warehouse worker, and administrator.

Mark has published numerous stories and poems in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Eire, and Italy, and in particular has had several stories published in (or accepted for) the celebrated Unthology series (Unthank Books). His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. He has been shortlisted for literary prizes, including the prestigious Bridport Prize.

In 2009, Mark graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in English (Creative Writing and Critical Practice) from Ruskin College, Oxford.

Currently living in South Wales, Mark is also a musician and songwriter, and some of his songs may be found here: https://soundcloud.com/pumpstreetsongs

Among his favourite writers are: Jean Rhys, Franz Kafka, Anton Chekhov, and Christopher Priest.

Q&A with Mark Mayes:

  • For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

Continue reading “Blog Tour | Urbane’s 12 Days of Christmas: The Gift Maker by Mark Mayes *Author Q&A & #Giveaway* @urbanebooks”

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Book Review: Close to Home by Cara Hunter (DI Adam Fawley #1)

Close to Home - Cara Hunter

Happy publication day to Cara Hunter, Close to Home is out today!

Book Description:

SOMEONE TOOK DAISY MASON… SOMEONE YOU KNOW. Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying. DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew. That means someone is lying… And that Daisy’s time is running out. Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives. Continue reading “Book Review: Close to Home by Cara Hunter (DI Adam Fawley #1)”

Book Review: Hidden Killers by Lynda LaPlante (Tennison #2)

Hidden Killers - Lynda LaPlante

I read book one, Tennison, last month and absolutely loved it, so, as is the natural order of things, I read Hidden Killers this month.

Book Description:

A prostitute dressed in a blue rabbit fur coat walks through the darkness of Hackney Fields, seemingly alone. But someone is waiting for her . . .
A woman is found dead in her bath, a small child crying in the room next door . . . Is it accidental death or the perfect murder?
When WPC Jane Tennison is promoted to the role of Detective Constable in London’s Bow Street CID, she is immediately conflicted. While her far more experience colleagues move on swiftly from one criminal case to another, Jane is often left with doubts about their findings.
Becoming inextricably embroiled in a multiple-rape case, Jane must put her life at risk in the search for answers. Will she toe the CID line, or endanger her position by seeking the truth . . .? Continue reading “Book Review: Hidden Killers by Lynda LaPlante (Tennison #2)”

Book Review: Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Anatomy of a Scandal - Sarah Vaughan

I was drawn to Anatomy of a Scandal because the synopsis reminded me a little bit of the hit TV series Scandal, featuring Kerry Washington – successful public figures caught up in a scandal.

Book Description:

You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.

Gripping psychological drama for fans of Apple Tree Yard, The Good Wife and Notes on a Scandal.

Part courtroom thriller; part portrait of a marriage; part exploration of how our memories still haunt us, Anatomy of a Scandal is a disarming and provocative psychological drama.

Sophie’s husband, James, is a loving father and a successful public figure. Yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to engulf him. She’s kept his darkest secret ever since they were first lovers, at Oxford. And if she stood by him then, she can do it now.

Kate is the barrister prosecuting his case. She’s certain that James is guilty and determined he should pay. No stranger to suffering herself, she doesn’t flinch from posing the questions few want to hear. About what happens between a man a woman when they’re alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in a lift . . .

Is James the victim of an unfortunate misunderstanding or the perpetrator of something sinister? Who is right: Sophie or Kate? This scandal – which forces Sophie to appraise her marriage and Kate her demons – will have far-reaching consequences for them all. Continue reading “Book Review: Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan”

Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor

*Thanks for the free book @CrownPublishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send progamme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

According to the early reviews for The Chalk Man, it is the must-read book of 2018! Of course, I had to find out for myself…

Book Description:

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago. Continue reading “Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor”