A Trio of Book Launches

A lovely post from Sara Gethin (author of the wonderful Not Thomas) on our Honno book launches this year. Than you, Sara.

Sara Gethin

It’s been an exciting summer and early autumn for Honno, the Welsh women’s press.

I’ve been to three Honno book launches – four, if I count my own launch for Not Thomas back in June.

20170720_190848 Helen with Judith Barrow

The first was in July for Helen Lewis’s The House with Old Furniture

It’s a contemporary ghost story set in Pembrokeshire, where Helen and her family live. As well as being a very atmospheric otherworldly story, it’s also a very perceptive novel about grief and what it can do to families, especially children. It’s Helen’s debut novel and I thoroughly recommend it.

20170817_193542.jpg Judith with Christoph Fischer of Llandeilo – and me too

The second book launch, the following month, was for Judith Barrow’s fourth in her family saga series. It’s calledA Hundred Tiny Threads.

The novel tells the background to some of the characters in Judith’s other books…

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Lindisfarne (Project Renova Book 2) #postapocalyptic by Terry Tyler #TuesdayBookBlog

Lindisfarne (Project Renova Book 2) by [Tyler, Terry]

I was given an ARC of Lindisfarne by the author in return for an honest review.

 I gave this book 5*out of 5*

Book Description::

Six months after the viral outbreak, civilised society in the UK has broken down. Vicky and her group travel to the Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, where they are welcomed by an existing community. 

New relationships are formed, old ones renewed. The lucky survivors adapt, finding strength they didn’t know they possessed, but the honeymoon period does not last long. Some cannot accept that the rules have changed, and, for just a few, the opportunity to seize power is too great to pass up. Egos clash, and the islanders soon discover that there are greater dangers than not having enough to eat.

Meanwhile, in the south, Brian Doyle discovers that rebuilding is taking place in the middle of the devastated countryside. He comes face to face with Alex Verlander from Renova Workforce Liaison, who makes him an offer he can’t refuse. But is UK 2.0 a world in which he will want to live?

My Review:

I have been an admirer of Terry Tyler’s work for a long time; I like her style of writing,  I  like the way she builds her characters and her sense of place in all her novels.

I’ve read the first of the Project Renova Book Series: Tipping Point. And, although, this genre is not usually my first choice, I read it purely because it was written by this author. I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s my review: http://bit.ly/2um9Fcq.   And I enjoyed my interview with Terry Tyler: http://bit.ly/2uzbsef.

When I started LIndisfarne I was anxious to learn what had happened to the characters in Tipping Point. But also I wondered if the story would be as strong as in the first book.

It was. It is.

I don’t give spoilers (if I can help it) in my reviews so here are my thoughts:

I love the way the story is told; each chapter is given over to individual characters. Not only do we see situations through their perspective, we learn – through their voice/their internal dialogue – about them. And we also see the actions of the other characters from their points of view, and their opinions on that action. It gives so many extra layers to the plot at different times.

There is one exception to this style of writing; the chapters around a character called Wedge. Thoroughly evil chap. His part in the book is told from the third person point of view.I liked this; it distances the reader from him yet we still know what he’s thinking, hear his internal dialogue… follow his actions. I’ll say no more.

The author brings the characters to life through their actions and mannerisms but one of her greatest strengths is through their  dialogue; each character has their own way of speaking.There was no doubt whose voice I was reading even without dialogue tags. I especially enjoyed  reading Lottie’s chapters; the sense of how she’s grown from a young teenager in the first book to young adult in this one is fascinating … and all in eighteen months.

I always say that this author has a knack for descriptions. Lindisfarne is no exception. The beauty of the island parallels the destruction of the mainland and the building of UK2. I could picture each setting as the characters moved around in them.

General thoughts: 

There is one story line that I had an uneasy feeling about – when my fears were realised I felt that satisfaction a reader gets when they think something will happen and it does but also a great sadness that it has. To get that connection with any character shows strong writing on the part of the author

There is also another intriguing sub plot line threaded throughout that follows one of the  characters from Tipping Point: Doyle. I have a feeling we will hear a lot more of him in Book 3.

I said at the beginning of this review that I have always loved this author’s work but, for me, this is Terry Tyler’s best novel yet; strong characters, strong dialogue, strongest writing, strongest plot; so I can’t recommend it highly enough. But I would advise reading Tipping Point first. This is a  trilogy (looking forward to the last! book). 

Hmm, having read and reviewed as constructively as I could, I’ve realised I have extolled all the virtues of Lindisfarne without any negative or any ‘to think about’ points. I do have one; I would love to see these books in real life book shops – the covers alone would make them stand out. Any chance?

 Author Biography:Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler is the author of fifteen books on Amazon, the latest being ‘Tipping Point’, the first book in her new post apocalyptic series. She is proud to be self-published, is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and writes for one of their main fansites. She lives in the north east of England with her husband, and is still trying to learn Geordie

 Terry’s links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerryTyler4

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2xLJRa6

Blog: http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/

Buying links:

 Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2fpUAfG

 Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2xLVxcI



A Kiss Before Killing: Nothing can keep the doctor away #TuesdayBookBlog by Keith McCarthy #RBRT


I was given this book by the author as a member of Rosie Amber’s review team in exchange for an honest review.

I gave A Kiss Before Killing 3* out of 5*

Book description

Each man kills the thing he loves…

Edward Marsham is admitted to the Royal Infirmary having hung himself in his prison cell.

As predicted, he dies.

In the wake of several unexpected deaths at the hospital, however, Dr. Claire Woodforde suspects there is a killer amongst the staff. As Detective Chief Inspector Beverley Wharton and her new sergeant Tom Bayes begin to investigate Marsham’s death, they too start to wonder if it was natural or whether someone…

helped him along.

But as they start to make headway on the case, something much more sinister comes to light.

A body is found in an empty house.

A body without its limbs. And head.

Dr. John Eisenmenger is tasked with examining the torso to uncover clues which will lead to its identity and cause of death; a grisly job even for the most hardened of pathologists.

But as the investigation unfolds, the team discovers that there is much, much worse to come, and in addition, there is growing suspicion that there is a link between the two cases.

This not-for-the-faint-hearted crime thriller shines a light into the darkest recesses of the human soul.

Fans of Patricia Cornwell, Tami Hoag and Tess Gerritsen will be hooked on A Kiss Before Killing.

Praise for A Kiss Before Killing

‘Pacey, well-written medical thriller … the suspense built so that I had to finish it in a sitting’ – Andrew Puckett, bestselling author of Sisters of Mercy

‘Dark and disturbing. Sharp and deliciously violent. A must read’ – Robert White, bestselling author of Breaking Bones

Praise for Keith McCarthy

‘McCarthy lays on the grisly detail with a practising doctor’s detached eye.’ – Publishers Weekly

‘McCarthy handles his material with real brio.’ – Crime Time

‘McCarthy excels at capturing his readers and not letting go until the shocking conclusion … Will appeal to fans of John Harvey’s crime novels’ Library Journal

Keith McCarthy was born in Croydon, Surrey. Educated at Dulwich College and then at St George’s Hospital Medical School, he began practising pathology in 1985 and has done so ever since. Keith is a Consultant Histopathologist in Gloucestershire where he lives with his wife and three daughters. in 1985 and has done so ever since. Keith is a Consultant Histopathologist in Gloucestershire where he lives with his wife and three daughters.

My Review:

From the start it is obvious that the author knows a great deal about cadavers and forensics; there is a lot of detail about the dissection of bodies and the necessary criminal investigation. I didn’t mind reading about those sections; in fact I can deal with grisly as much as the next reader of this genre but it felt rather clinically shown so, as a reader, the dreadfulness of the murders, the horrendous dismemberment, was, for me, portrayed too clinically; there was something emotionally missing.

I liked some of the characters; most were multi – layered. Beverley Wharton is well rounded and the relationship between her and John Eisenmenger is interesting. And we get some insight into her sergeant, Tom Bayes and his background. We also get a good understanding of their  professional environment.  All of which shows that these characters and their relationships to one another could lead to further stories. But I couldn’t quite get a handle on the character of Dr. Claire Woodforde. (I did think this was perhaps what the author intended as, although portrayed as a professional person her interaction with other characters was hesitant and not what I would have expected)

On the whole the dialogue is realistic and shows who was speaking, though it is a little stilted, less realistic, at times.

It’s a good plot. And, generally, well told. The author has a good writing style that carries the story along. But there are too many cliches in the narrative and far too many  metaphors and similes. (and these also slip over into the dialogue occasionally. Which would be fine if it were an idiosyncrasy of only one or two of the characters).

My whole problem with this book was with the editing and the proof reading. I think the book needs another good edit and, certainly, a more exact proofreading.

Once this is done I would certainly recommend A Kiss Before Killing.

Buying links:

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2vZg2ip

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2fbwRDV


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Judith Barrow, Charles E. Yallowitz and Sandra J. Jackson

My thanks to sally

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and there are new releases and fantastic reviews to share. The first author is Judith Barrow whose latest release A Hundred Tiny Threads has received another wonderful review.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage…

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AWARD: The Miranda Sings Award#MondayBlogs

Well, I totally missed this award (daughter was taking part in the Iron Man Wales weekend before last so, as you can imagine, I wasn’t here! And, this weekend it was eldest  grandson’s twenty-first so big family celebrations ) But this is brilliant; I’ve never been nominated on an award. But quite nerve wracking as well. Hope those I’ve nominated feel able to join in. I must than the ever generous and brilliant Claire at https://brizzlelassbooks.com/ . A fascinating blog that I can’t recommend highly enough


  • Announce your win with a post, and link the blogger who nominated you.
  • Include the featured image on your blog post.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers (or as many as you can think of) and link your awardees in the post.
  • List 7 things you love about yourself. (This can be about your appearance, your personality, your achievements, etc.)
  • Don’t use negative connotation (i.e. Don’t say things like – “I’m prettier than an average person.” or “People have told me I’m smart.” You are pretty. You are smart.)

  • 7 Things I Love About Myself

    Now… this could take me all day… so bear with me. It’s a while since I did any self-analysis. Frightening thought!! Okay, need to start somewhere so…

    1. I’m a good friend:  I love the good friends I’ve made over the years. I’m supportive and loyal; I’m there to be happy with  them on when times are good and there to commiserate when times are not so good.And when they achieve their ambitions (which sometimes is having a book published) I’m one hundred per cent behind them,  cheering for  them.
    2. I’m  a hard worker: If I have something to do I will make sure I work at it until I succeed in either finishing the task or until I know I’ve done the best I can. I’ve always been the same. I think I got the work ethic from my mother.
    3. I’ve now written six decent books (and four more that will never see the light of day, but I wrote them) and had five published, with another ready to be sent to the publisher. Although i’ve written all my life and had stories, poems and plays published,I only began sending the books out ten years ago. And I’m so pleased that I’m published by a small independent, feminist publisher.
    4. I beat cancer some twenty years ago and, despite a few more scares, I’m still here. I decided there and then that I would get higher qualifications (I hated school and left at sixteen to go into the Civil Service.) So, while having treatment for the cancer I took a degree with the Open University and got a B.A.(Hons) in Literature and then went on to gain a Masters in Creative Writing at Trinity College. Having a great interest in dialogue (and talking, as my husband and friends will tell you!) I then achieved a diploma in drama, and script writing and I’ve written a couple of plays that have been performed.
    5. I’m a good Wife,Mum and Nanna. Life wasn’t easy when we were first married and then, when the children came along, even more difficult. Money was short. But I’ve always – and still do – cooked from scratch and l’m a good cook. (Hmm…should I have had this as another thing I’m proud of?) Years ago I always made sure there was a decent meal on the table when my husband came home after working sixteen hours a day. I made all the children’s clothes. (I used to say, “we might be poor but no one needs to know”). As they grew older I took part time  work to make sure they didn’t miss out on any school trips or hobbies they wanted to do. All this might seem old-fashioned these days but I’m proud of my family and proud  I did what was needed at the time..
    6. I survived abuse.  I’ll leave that one there.
    7. I’m a good painter.  I don’t get too much time to paint these days but I’ve done quite a few seascapes and landscapes that people have wanted to buy. I’d never sell them though; I want to leave something behind when I’m no longer here in about… oh… another fifty years or so (hahaha!) that my kids will remember me by… or sell!! Oh, that would be like my books as well.

    My Nominees: (with apologies if it’s not your ‘thing’)

  • http://www.thornemoore.co.uk/
  • http://sharontregenza.com/
  • https://carollovekinauthor.com/author/carollovekin9/
  • https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/
  • https://saragethin.com/
  • http://www.julietgreenwood.co.uk/
  • http://www.lisashambrook.com/
  • https://dgkayewriter.com/



My Series of Author & Poet Interviews at the Narberth Book Fair With Fellow Organiser Thorne Moore

Judith Barrow

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting interviews with the authors who will be taking part in our Book Fair:  http://www.narberthbookfair.co.uk/.

There are forty of us so, obviously, there are many genres for both adults and children. There will be talks an writing and books, creative writing workshops for adults and fun workshops for children, activities for the children and a fun book trail through Narberth, the gorgeous little market town in Pembrokeshire.   

All free!!

And, of course, there will be the chance to chat with all the authors and to pick their brains on all aspects of writing. Even to buy their books and have them personally signed.

And, as usual, there will also be the writing competition: this year is a poetry competition: Submit a poem, in any form, of 20 lines or less, on the subject of : –

Books and Reading.

Having outgrown our…

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Narberth’s Book Fair

A brilliant accolade from Lorraine. Thorne Moore (who has put together our wonderful website/leaflets/posters and done a thousand and one other things) and I are keeping fingers crossed for a great day for all our authors.

Lorraine Ambers

It’s only a week until this year’s event and I’m looking forward to immersing myself into as many workshops as I can.  http://www.narberthbookfair.co.uk/

Its lovely seeing familiar faces at these event. Making contacts and even friends. I’m particularly interested in – ‘Fear is the Key’: creating the darkest places for the darkest hearts. Sally Spedding, author of How to Write a Chiller Thriller, leads you through the secrets of writing horror, crime and dark fiction.


The wonderful author Judith Barrow is organising this year’s event, so in her words, this is what it’s all about.

With forty authors taking part, there will be many genres for both adults and children. There will be talks an writing and books, creative writing workshops for adults  workshops & talks and fun workshops for children, activities for the children  Children’s Page and a fun book trail through Narberth, the gorgeous little market…

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