About Judith Barrow

Pattern of Shadows was my first novel, the sequel, Changing Patterns was published in May 2013. The last of the trilogy, Living in the Shadows was published July 2015. On the 17th of August 2017, the prequel to the trilogy , A Hundred Tiny Threads, will be published. I also have an eBook, Silent Trauma, a fiction built on fact novel, published as an eBook. I have an MA in Creative Writing, B.A. (Hons.) in Literature, and a Diploma in Drama and Script Writing. I've had short stories, poems, plays, reviews and articles published throughout the British Isles, notably in several Honno anthologies. I am also a Creative Writing tutor and run workshops on all genres and available for talks and workshops.My blogs are now on my website http://www.judithbarrow.co.uk where I interview other authors and add the occasional personal posts. It would be great if you could check my posts out there. I also review books, mainly for #RBRT. When I'm not writing or teaching creative writing I spend time researching for my writing, painting or walking the Pembrokeshire coastline

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

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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

 

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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

Rules

  • 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.

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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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Today I’m thrilled to be hosting a guest post from Suzie Tullett on her Blog Blitz for her new book, Little White Lies and Butterflies.

BLOG BLITZ

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Little White Lies and Butterflies blurb

Lydia knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. Now nearly thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice.

Realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and goes travelling in the hope of finding a new direction. At least that’s the plan.

So when Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity for a woman who can’t cook. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long and when her family show up unexpectedly things go from bad to worse…

Can Lydia find love? Will she ever learn to cook?

Little White Lies and Butterflies is a heart-warming comedy about finding your place in the world.

Suzie says:

As writers we don’t just want to tell a story, we want to pull our readers into our books and make them feel as if they’re there experiencing events alongside our main characters. One way to do this is through the senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Little White Lies and Butterflies is set on Kalymnos, one of the Greek islands, so as you can imagine I had great fun drawing upon all of these as I wrote.

I loved conveying the harshness of the Kalymnian landscape; a haven amongst climbers, its giant, craggy rock faces appeared intimidating to some of my characters, yet inviting to others. I enjoyed writing about the sound of the waves as they lapped against the shore, and the rhythm of the Greek language as Lydia tried to figure out where one word ended and the next one began. And with Autumn taking hold here in the real world, I’m sure we can all imagine the feel of the sand between her toes, the sun on her skin, and smell the aroma of pine cones and sea salt.

The sense that I had the most fun with though was taste. Greek food has a place in this story and just thinking about some of the dishes would be enough to make anyone’s mouth water, not just mine. Such as the Kleftiko, a mixture of melt-in-the mouth lamb, olive oil, oregano and garlic – talk about gourmet heaven. Which is why I thought I’d share the recipe for one of my favourite Greek dishes with you today – Stifado, made with big chunks of beef and juicy shallots in the most mouth-watering of tomato sauces.

Having lived on the island of Kalymnos you’d think I’d have an authentic recipe but, alas, I don’t. Alternatively, I have found one from a website called Greek Islands Travel which I hope you’ll give a try. I know I certainly will.

Beef Stifado

Ingredients to serve 4-6

  • 1kg lean beef
  • 500g shallot onions
  • 2 large onions
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 tbl of tomato paste
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of rosemary
  • 4 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small glasses of red wine
  • cider vinegar
  • black pepper.
  1. Put the chopped onions in a large skillet with the olive oil and cook on a low heat until the onions soften.
    2. Cube the beef and add to the skillet turning up the heat until the meat is sealed.
    3. Turn down the heat and add finely chopped garlic, chopped tomatoes, crushed nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary and a good pinch of black pepper.
    4. Stir on a moderate heat for 2 mins then add the wine and tomato paste.
    5. Add a generous splash of cider vinegar and stir well.
    6. Turn out into a casserole dish an add enough warm water to cover the meat.
    7. Cover with foil and cook in oven at 180°C for 40 minutes.
    8. Peel the shallots and shallow fry on a low heat until soft — don’t let them burn.
    9. Remove casserole from the oven and spoon in the shallots (not the oil).
    10. Return to oven at 150°C for another hour or until the meat is soft and tender.

Crown with some spinach leaves and serve with creamy mashed potato (use creme fraiche if you are weight conscious), with plain white rice or just some warm crusty bread.

Well, authentic or not, it sounds delicious to me, Suzie, thank you. Will be giving this recipe a go soon.

Author Bio:

suzie
Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Her motto is to ‘live, laugh, love’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.

Suzie lives in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the French countryside, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.

 

 Links to buy:
 Amazon.c.uk: http://amzn.to/2xErFj9
 Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2x7a8Pf
 Links to Suzie:
Suzie’swebsite Suzie Tullett

Instagram suzie_tullett

Shadows Tour Banner

 

Shadows cover (1)

SHADOWS

BY THORNE MOORE

Genre: domestic noir. Psychological Crime. Women’s lit. Paranormal.

Release Date: 14 June 2017

Publisher: Endeavour Press

Kate Lawrence can sense the shadow of violent death, past and present. In her struggle to cope with her unwelcome gift, she has frozen people out of her life. Her marriage is on the rocks, her career is in chaos and she urgently needs to get a grip.
So she decides to start again, by joining her effervescent cousin Sylvia and partner Michael in their mission to restore and revitalise Llys y Garn, an old mansion in the wilds of North Pembrokeshire.
It is certainly a new start, as she takes on Sylvia’s grandiose schemes, but it brings Kate to a place that is thick with the shadows of past deaths. The house and grounds are full of mysteries that only she can sense, but she is determined to face them down – so determined that she fails to notice that ancient energies are not the only shadows threatening the seemingly idyllic world of Llys y Garn.
The happy equilibrium is disrupted by the arrival of Sylvia’s sadistic and manipulative son, Christian – but just how dangerous is he?
Then, once more, Kate senses that a violent death has occurred…
Set in the majestic and magical Welsh countryside, Shadows is a haunting exploration of the dark side of people and landscape.

EXTRACT

‘Is it haunted, Kate?’ Sylvia clapped her hands, like a child wanting ice-cream. ‘Oh please, please say there’s a ghost down here.’

‘There’s a ghost down here.’

‘No seriously, please tell me. You’d sense one, I know.’

What the hell. I closed my eyes solemnly. ‘I detect – a definite shiver of fear.’

‘Is that all? I was hoping for a white lady. If only we had battlements. I’m sure we’d have had a white lady, walking in the moonlight.’

‘Perhaps we can persuade one to move in.’

‘Yes!’ Sylvia gripped my arm. ‘A ghost hotel! We could get a licence to serve spirits!’

We were still laughing as we climbed back to the buttery. To finish, she led me on into the second small room, under the upper chamber.

As before, a low square room. One tiny window, two doors, stained walls, stone floor, just another empty room. ‘Not sure what to call this one,’ babbled my cousin. ‘Think of a good name. The armoury! I wonder if we could get a suit of armour.’ She was already opening the far door, into a panelled arch through deep masonry back into the Great Hall.

Just a doorway to Sylvia.

But not to me. Oh God, not to me.

‘Come on,’ she sang. ‘Where next?’

I watched her pass through, amazed that she could sense nothing. Rigid in my determination to conquer, I followed her, trying to block out the shadow, to refuse it entry into my brain.

I couldn’t. It overwhelmed my defences, enveloping me in a black cloud. Huge atavistic fear, searing thirst, gut-wrenching despair. I could feel the interweaving strands of emotion like filaments of rot, tightening around me, meshing in my lungs, my veins, my bones. How could Sylvia possibly not feel this?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

My Review:

I have long been a fan of Thorne Moore’s work and, for me, Shadows, yet again, proves what a brilliant tale teller she is.

The author’s ability to create an atmosphere is exceptional. In Shadows the descriptions of the rooms and spaces within Llys y Garn provide an eerie, dark presence and a vaguely distant, though dangerous, affluence in its history. It’s a great background for the novel. In contrast the narratives portraying the surrounding Welsh countryside underline the myths, the legends of the land, the beauty of the settings, to give a wonderful sense of place.

The characters are excellent; believable and rounded they instil either empathy, dislike, or exasperation. I loved the protagonist, Kate, and found myself willing her to make the right choices; to stay safe. In contrast, the character of her ex-husband and even sometimes, the lovable cousin, Sylvia, frustrated me. And I despised the “sadistic and manipulative son, Christian” (even though I hadn’t read the book blurb at the time) – I suppose that’s a sign of as well portrayed, multi layered character. And there is one character who was a great disappointment for me… saying no more here

The book description gives a good outline of this steadily-paced plot; what it doesn’t say, obviously, is how the reader is drawn into the story from the onset and then, piece by piece, caught up in the twists and turns of the narrative.

This is is a book I recommend without hesitation.

ABOUT THORNE MOORE

ThorneMoore

Thorne was born in Luton and graduated from Aberystwyth University (history) and from the Open University (Law). She set up a restaurant with her sister but now spends her time writing and making miniature furniture for collectors. She lives in Pembrokeshire, which forms a background for much of her writing, as does Luton. She writes psychological mysteries, or “domestic noir,” and her first novel, A Time For Silence, was published by Honno in 2012. Her second Motherlove, was published in 2015 and her third, The Unravelling, came out in 2016. A collection of short stories, Moments of Consequence, came out the same year. She’s a member of the Crime Writers Association.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thornemoorenovelist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThorneMoore

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562052.Thorne_Moore

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

Website:  www.thornemoore.co.uk

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