Thursday, 6 December 2018

Book blog tour: The Lilith Gene by M.Cassol

Hi guys! Today's post a cheeky little spotlight about a really intriguing book called The Lilith Gene by M.Cassol.

Here's a summary of whats going on:
Vesna, a Serbian PhD student in Art History living in Tuscany, is a master rock climber. The only thing she can't get a grip on is her love life. Beset by terrifying panic attacks that strike every time she allows herself to be intimate with another woman, she strives to avoid the so-called mermaids in her life. Olga is a widened-eye nurse trainee in Sarajevo. It’s 1912 and Olga is all too keen to document her life and the world changing around her in her diaries. Olga's passion for nursing is only rivalled by her love for her anguished boyfriend Gav. The arrival of the obscure Patient J.D. 347 at the hospital is about to change everything for Olga. Everything will change for Vesna too, when she meets the compelling art restorer Rafaella Guaritore. Rafaella holds the key to Vesna's research into influential women painters of the Renaissance and the metaphorical Lilith Gene that all the rebellious ladies in art are believed to share. Will Rafaella hold the key to solving Vesna's mysterious recurring dreams and find the root of all her anxiety? Or is the answer to Vesna's problems hidden in Olga's diaries?

Five particularly fab things about “The Lilith Gene” are:

1) Perzie - the mysterious soldier JD 347, was based on a true magnificent woman and everyone should read about her. Her name is Milunka Savić and she was a Serbian war hero and an extraordinary lady.
2) The theory portrayed in the book of “genetic inherited trauma” is real, there are several studies about the subject.
3) The painter Artemisia Gentileschi who is the main subject on Vesna’s character research for her phd is an important part of art history and feminist culture.
4) The Lilith Gene develops in two parallel time lines, one in today’s dates and one in Bosnia 1912 where tensions are building up and all historical events mentioned in the book really happened.
5) The ayahuasca plant that Vesna tries on the book it’s called the Vine of Spirits. There many studies showing possible beneficial studies relating the molecule DMT present on the hallucinogenic brew to improvement in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

About the Author:
M.Cassol was born in transit on the Brazilian and Uruguian boarders, when her mother went into
labour on the return leg of a family holiday. Cassol graduated in medicine in Brazil in 2004, but instead of sticking to a formal academic path, she left everything behind to travel the world, crossing oceans and moving to Europe. After settling in London, Cassol has become one of the most respected specialist doctors in aesthetic medicine, associating her passion for beauty and creativity to perfect her treatments. Her first lesbian novel was published in Brazil; Fuga da Lula (which translates to Fanny Fun in English), reached number one on the Amazon Lesbian Romance chart and is currently being turned into a movie.

About the Book
Title: The Lilith Gene
Author: M. Cassol
Release Date: 29th November 2018
Genre: Thriller
Page Count: 232
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing 
Find the book on Goodreads  and  Amazon.

Abi x

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Review: Hafla Hafla

Heyooo! One of the things I love about living in the city is the opportunity to try new and wonderful things. I adore being able to walk down some of the more popular areas and spot new and upcoming places to eat. Cos let’s face it I love me some grub.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Book blog tour: Where The Truth Lies by M.J. Lee

Hey all! Todays lovely post comes as part of the blog tour for the gripping thriller "Where The Truth Lies" By M.J. Lee. As part of the tour I've been lucky to nab an extract for you lovely lot! Before that, I've included some info about the book, read on and find out...

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Book blog tour: Dead End by Rachel Lynch

Hi alllll! So it's been a hot minute a post over here. Today we've brought you a lovely guest post from author Rachel Lynch following the release of her latest novel "Dead End", explaining her some of her research process.

Guest post: Rachel Lynch

In the Kelly Porter novels, I’m always looking for new angles to explore pathology and police procedure. The research never stops, and it’s vitally important for me to learn new procedures and technologies, and incorporate them in my books.

For example, in Dead End, Kelly makes an aerial search of a mountainous area, looking for two missing girls. I loved researching this! I’ve been in helicopters and I’m a bit like Kelly: they shouldn’t work but they do! I know the police use them all the time now, but resources are tight in Cumbria, and sometimes they use the mountain rescue helicopters, or borrow from neighbouring constabularies, such as Lancaster. It has to be plausible to me, and Kelly is used to having technology on tap in London, but this is very different and she’d got to use her resourcefulness.

Police dive teams appeared in Dark Game and they make a reappearance here in Dead End. I trained to be a Sports Diver in Cyprus, when I lived there for almost three years. It meant I could dive to fifty metres in open water, and it involved a lot of exams and technical knowledge. I love the atmosphere that’s made possible in the confine space of a wetsuit and a tank of air- it’s adrenaline pumping and then some! There’s also a commercial dive scene in Dead End, and I do like to throw in the odd curve ball here and there, and that dive instructor was fun to create. 

I also like to have the coroner use different techniques and face new challenges in his work, and so this time, for Dead End, I did a lot of research into brain pathology, without giving too much away. Ted Wallis is obviously a very experienced pathologist and I always like to give him slightly different angles to work with. This is a good source of tension for Kelly, too, because results take time, and sometimes, dead bodies throw up real surprises.

Nowadays, it’s quite easy to research topics on the internet, but my joy is gained from taking that research, and turning what I find into a proper job for my developing characters. Also, things don’t always go to plan in the real world and mistakes are made and opportunities lost. I also have to keep in mind that a lot of police work, and pathology, is fairly dull: crunching data and looking for detail. It can take weeks to follow a lead on one carpet strand, as it can take months to wait to see if DNA can be replicated and harvested. Obviously this would make a pretty flat plot, and so I take liberties with time and space, but always make sure the investigative detail is plausible.

One example of this is the Lake District terrain. Accuracy is important to me, however, sometimes, Kelly has to cover distances and altitudes quickly, to keep the story moving forward. For example, it’s possible to get up to Martindale as quickly as she does, but, in summer, stuck behind a mini-bus, on narrow lanes choked with tourists, it’s probably a long shot. The same is true about the geography of Place Fell- the location that first inspired Dead End, and if ever you get chance to visit, it’s a cracking walk to start with. From the summit, the whole of Ullswater spreads out before you, majestic and vast. It’s truly breath taking. There are several ways up to the summit, and Kelly and Johnny could easily jog up it, given their level of fitness. It is deserted most of the time, it’s wind swept, and these features are what planted the seed of a major plot thread for me in Dead End. I remember sitting up there one day, looking down on Ullswater, Dead End beginning to form in my head. 

Having said all that, research has to be handled with care. Like William Faulkner said, the novelist has to kill their darlings, and it’s true. For every paragraph on technical detail, I’ve probably researched a book load of facts. In the final edit, they all have to be culled, to leave just enough nuggets to thrill the reader!

Book Spotlight:

Title: Dead End

Author Name: Rachel Lynch

Previous Books (if applicable): Dark Game and Deep Fear

Genre: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural

Release Date: 8th October 2018

Publisher: Canelo

Book Blurb:
When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.
At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.
Now, as all roads of both investigations and Kelly’s own family secrets lead to Wasdale Hall it becomes more important than ever for Kelly to discover the devious truths hidden behind the walls of the Lake District’s most exclusive estate...
Don't miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

Links to Book:  Amazon (UK) Kobo (UK) Google Books (UK) Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio: Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

Twitter: @r_lynchcrime

I can't wait to read this one!!

Abi x

Monday, 27 August 2018

Review: Baltic market

Hello my lovely lot! I recently surpassed my 24th Birthday. I know, the lady lord above only knows how I made it this far! I debated writing a 24 at 24 post but my love of lists couldn’t stretch me that far(soz).
Instead I want talk about where we went! It’s someowhere close to where I live that I’ve been wanting to go for ages now! 

So, with a group of friends in tow we descended upon the highly recommended Baltic Market.

Now, if you’re not local to Liverpool, or likely to pop by any time soon then don’t turn away just yet. 

The Baltic Markets are an all in one package for a good time. Set in Liverpool’s up and coming Baltic triangle on the edges of the city centre lies an old brewery turned edible hotspot. 

Inside, there’s rows of benches, bustling people, a bright stage and tons of food and drinks vendors. For me, the food I most wanted to try was the Halloumi fries! I treated myself to a salt and pepper version, and then later shared some mac’ncheese bites and pulled pork fries with the group!

Drinks wise there’s a main bar and separate vendors. I couldn’t help but be drawn to “Gin Lane” and their fantastic cocktails! 

The only down side was that it was so busy by the time we were ready to follow up with some dessert (either bubble waffles or doughnuts!) they’d all sold out. Still,  just an excuse to go back again! 

If you want some serious food porn then check out their Instagram here.
All round, I had a lovely birthday evening with my friends!

Abi x

P.s. sadly this is just my honest review of my experience at the Baltic market, but if anyone fancies paying me in halloumi fries hit me up.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Book blog tour: Blood of the Red Rose by P.J. Gray

Hello fellow bibliophiles and assorted other readers of this blog! Todays post is taking part in a book tour for the recently released Blood of the Red Rose! I've been trying to branch out a little more with my book reviews, as I feel that although I read a variety of styles, I don't often write about them. So when this novel landed on my doorstep (literally) I was happy to take part in the blog tour.
Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, finds himself exiled in France when Warwick the Kingmaker puts Edward IV on the throne of England. Desperate to return the throne to the rightful King Henry VI, Beaufort finds himself caught between Henry's bitter wife Marguerite of Anjou and the French 'Spider' King Louis until Edward and Warwick fall out in spectacular style and, at Louis' urging, Warwick becomes their unlikely ally. Set on the rich stage of the Wars of the Roses, this is a tale of intrigue, love and war that can only end in tragedy.
About the author:
Philippa was born in Chichester and developed a passion for history whilst growing up in Cyprus and then North Yorkshire. She began writing when she was at junior school, winning the school prize for English, and wrote and illustrated her own stories which she read to her long-suffering friends. She started her first novel, Blood of the Red Rose, when her elder daughter was a baby and finally completed it twenty-eight years later. Philippa has two daughters, four grandchildren and a grand-cat and now lives in Cyprus with Paul, her husband of twenty-five years, three dogs and four cats.
I actually quite enjoy historical dramas, its just not often I think to grab one. I liked the viewpoint we had on the War of the Roses in this piece, it just seemed like a new story of a well known historical event.
It took me a little while to get into the book, particularly to get the story arcs clear in my mind. I'll hold my hands up, it was truthfully the second time I read that everything really fell into place for me. This might not necessarily be a reflection of the book but myself, as I always seem to need to do that with period work. By the second read though I was fully invested, and I could see all the nuances I'd mostly missed on my first run through.
For me I 'd give this book 6/10. Its well worth a read and even a second if you're someone like me who likes to understand everything that's going on plot wise!
About the Book
Title: Blood of the Red Rose
Author: P. J. Gray
Release Date: 14th August 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Find it on Amazon or Goodreads.
Facebook page.
Abi x
p.s.: I received a copy of the book for free in exchange for my review and participation on the blog tour.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Portugal photo diary

The end of June saw me jet off to the lovely Porto in Portugal for 5 days! It was a desperately needed break, I've been working crazy hours saving for a car. Even a work horse needs a break now and then!

Now, unfortunately the trip wasn't quite how I expected. Anyone living in the UK wil know we re having an unprecedentedly hot summer. We were away for the first week of the heatwave, but the weather in Portugal was "okay" at best. A bit sunny, a bit warm but not the glorious sun ridden haven everyone back home experienced.

The other wee surprise was that we weren't actually in Porto as I'd thought. Instead we were about an hour or so outside of Porto in the gorgeously quiet Douro wine region. It was filed with stunning hills and veinerys stemming from the steep banks of the Douro river. It was dead AF though. So one day was spent exploring (and exhausting) our hotel and the rest of the holiday we got the hour and a half train into Porto.

The city itself was brilliant. Full of gorgeous old tiled buildings, cute winding streets and a stunning river. I really loved exploring the city with my boyfriend.

Overall, I'd visit Porto again, but try and stay within the city itself. Maybe an Air BnB job and a chance to enjoy the nightlife we missed out on.
I was a bit nervous about going away for five days with my boyfriend as it was the longest amount of time we've spent together in one go. Should have known better cos I had a wale of a time and was sad to see him off at the end of the week...even if it was only for a day or so! Soppy idiot me haha.

Have you ever been Portugal?

Abi x