Category Archives: sBooks

THE SATURDAY LETTERS by Jill Treseder #saga #review

Saturday

The Saturday Letters

by

Jill Treseder

 

SaturdayGenre: Family saga

Release Date: November 2017

Publisher: S Books

18+: Scenes of a sexual nature

When Henrietta finds herself excluded from seeing her grandchildren, she decides to write to them to explain their Afro-Caribbean origins in slavery.

She tells the story of her childhood in Bermuda, of marrying a British soldier, bringing up six children in Gibraltar and moving to England on her husband’s retirement from the army. Writing the letters reveals unexpected and challenging truths about herself and her family, which give her food for reflection.

Do her grandchildren ever receive the letters? And if so, how true a picture of their grandmother and family do they paint?

EXTRACT

First things first. I introduce myself. I am your great-grandmother. Your grandmother, Ada, is my daughter. As you know, of course, you visit her every Saturday afternoon with your parents. I live in the house just up the hill from hers. Not the one joined on to your grandmother’s house, but the next one.

I should say, I did live there. Because, if my plan works out, you will be opening these letters as a young man, aged twenty-one years, and I will no longer be on this earth.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2Brvy93

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ixYCrG

REVIEW

Imagine living within sight of your family but being cut off from them at the same time. In this poignant novella, Henrietta is faces this dilemma every day.
I loved the letters she wrote to her descendants with the hope of reuniting with them. I loved the expressions she used from her childhood in Bermuda in her correspondence. “cheese…” was a particular favourite (confirm from the glossary at the beginning of the story).
I almost got sea-sick myself as I travelled across the ocean to Gibraltar. I’ve never been but could picture it well from the author’s description. I looked up a photograph after reading the book and it was exactly like I’d envisioned.
Do the intended recipients ever see the Saturday letters? To find out, you’ll have to read the book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Saturday

Jill Treseder was born in Hampshire and lived all her childhood in sight of the sea on the Solent and in Devon, Cornwall and West Wales. She now lives with her husband in Devon overlooking the River Dart.

After graduating from Bristol with a degree in German, Jill followed careers in social work, management development and social research, obtaining a PhD from the School of Management at the University of Bath along the way.

Since 2006 she has focused on writing fiction.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jill.treseder

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jill_Treseder

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7919007.Jill_Treseder

Blog: http://www.jilltresederwriter.com

Author: http://www.jilltresederwriter.com

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

WHEN THE MERMAID SINGS by Helen Hollick #historical #YA

mermaid

When the Mermaid Sings

by

Helen Hollick

 

mermaid

Genre: Historical adventure, YA

Series: The Sea Witch (can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: 29 September 2017

Publisher: S Books

An early coming-of-age tale of the young Jesamiah Acorne set in the years before he becomes a pirate and Captain of the Sea Witch.

Throughout childhood, Jesamiah Mereno suffered the bullying of his elder half-brother. Then, not quite fifteen years old and on the day they bury their father, Jesamiah hits back. He flees his home, changes his name to Jesamiah Acorne and joins the crew of his father’s seafaring friend Captain Malachias Taylor aboard the privateer Mermaid.

Jesamiah makes enemies, sees the ghost of his father and hears the mysterious voice of a Cornish girl in his mind. But can he avoid the beguiling lure of a sensuous mermaid…?

EXTRACT

As followers of Jesamiah Acorne’s various nautical adventures know, the series of Sea Witch Voyages starts in January 1716 with Jesamiah, not yet a Captain of his own ship, about to take part in a pirate ‘Chase’ and a fight at sea with a prospective Prize.

He is aboard the Mermaid, with Captain Malachias Taylor in charge, and the opening scene, set off the coast of Africa, leads the way to what will be a turning point in Jesamiah’s life.

But what of his life before the events of Sea Witch? We know from the backstory that he fled his home in Virginia to escape the vicious bullying of his half-brother, Phillipe, and then crewed with Taylor, but how did that happen?

How did he learn to be the experienced seaman – and pirate – that he is?

How did he learn to fight?

What adventures, and risks, did he face in those days of his youth?

How did he develop from the frightened boy of not quite fifteen years old, to the cocksure, confident Captain that he became?

EXCERPT

“You alright, son?”

A man was bending over him, taking his arm, half-shaking it, half-assisting him to rise. Jesamiah looked up into a face with weatherworn, tanned skin, several teeth missing and a beard that was more grey-grizzled than the brown it had once been. Bright eyes sparkled beneath a three-corner hat that sprouted a feathered plume.

“You alright?” the man asked again.

“Yes, I think so,” Jesamiah answered, scrambling to his feet. He was at the harbour – how had he got here? Three ships, in addition to Anna, rested at anchor, the nearest sporting a splendid figurehead with carved seaweed hair draped over her bare breasts; her fishtail curled as if clinging to the bow itself. Mermaid.

“You sure?” the sailor asked again, his hand still clasped to Jesamiah’s arm.

“Just a bit dizzy, that’s all.”

“Not surprising,” the man said with a nod and grim smile. “That’s some cut to your head. You came down quite a wallop.”
Touching his fingers to his temple, Jesamiah looked at the sticky smear of blood left on them.

“I saw you take the tumble as I were coming ashore. Noticed you earlier, too, with Tom Markham?”

Jesamiah nodded, then wished he hadn’t. “Aye, from Anna over there.” He pointed her out.

“Stannis still her bosun?”

Not risking another nod, Jesamiah confirmed that he was.

“Nasty piece of work. I’d as soon shoot him as serve with him.”

Not making a comment that could land him in trouble, Jesamiah answered, tactfully, “You know him, then?”

The man indicated a scar on his face. “We had a serious falling-out a few years back.”

The dizziness clearing, Jesamiah took a deep breath and was grateful that the man made a grab for him as he again tottered precariously. He attempted a jest: “I’m not sure if it’s the wound or not finding my land-legs yet. The ground’s pitching as much as the deck did.”

“Ah, you’ll soon adjust, son. Your pa always takes a few hours to do so.”

That cleared Jesamiah’s head as efficiently as a dousing with a bucket of cold seawater. “My pa?”

The man studied the boats at anchor in the harbour. “Aye. I take it Charles is not here? No sign of his vessel out there. Has he sent you off to sea?” The man chuckled. “’Bout time, if you ask me.”

Unexpected tears swam in Jesamiah’s eyes. He rapidly blinked them aside. “My father passed away a few months ago.”

The man removed his hat, wiped his hand across his mouth and nose, sniffed loudly and blinked as rapidly as Jesamiah had done. “I’m sorry to hear that, lad. Right sorry. He was a good man.”

Taking a step backwards, the man held out his hand. “You are, of course, Jesamiah? You are the image of Charles. Got your ma’s dark Spanish eyes and hair, though.”

Initially tentative, Jesamiah hesitated, but took the proffered hand and gripped it in a firm handshake. “My apologies, but you are…?”

“Taylor. Captain Malachias Taylor of the Mermaid, yonder.”

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2zqcFCI

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2A5TC4n

ABOUT HELEN HOLLICK

MERMAID

Helen Hollick moved from London in 2013 and now lives with her family in North Devon, in an eighteenth century farmhouse surrounded by fields and woodland. She owns variety of pets including horses, Exmoor ponies, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and geese.

First published in 1994 her passion now is her pirate character Captain Jesamiah Acorne of the nautical adventure series The Sea Witch Voyages.

Helen became a USA Today bestseller with her historical novel The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK). This is the story of Saxon Queen Emma of Normandy. Her novel Harold the King (titled I Am The Chosen King in the US) explores the events that led to the 1066 Battle of Hastings. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, set in the fifth century, is widely acclaimed as a more historical version of the Arthurian legend.

She has written non-fiction books including Pirate – Truth and Tales, a book about smuggling (due to be published 2018) and Discovering the Diamond, a short advice guide for new writers interested in self-publishing which she co-wrote with her editor Jo Field.

Helen is published in various languages including Turkish and Italian.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.hollick

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenHollick

Blog: https://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk

Website: www.helenhollick.net

Newsletter: http://tinyletter.com/HelenHollick

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

A SAINTLY GRAVE DISTURBED by Nikki Copleston #thriller

saintly grave

A Saintly Grave Disturbed

by

Nikki Copleston

 

saintly grave

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: 27 October 2017

Publisher: S Books

Series: A DI Jeff Lincoln short read

 

When archaeologists Beth Tarrant and Josh Good excavate a ruined chapel at Barbury Abbey they don’t expect to uncover a modern mystery too…

Finding the tomb of a medieval abbot would mean a lot to Beth – fifty years ago, her grandfather was forced to abandon his own search for the tomb, but nobody knows why. Can Beth finish what he started?

As one incident after another threatens to sabotage the dig, Detective Inspector Jeff Lincoln is called in, and when a bungled burglary at the museum turns into murder he finds a shocking link to a case he’s already investigating.

BUY LINKS

 

AMAZON UK – http://amzn.to/2zO22gt

AMAZON US – http://amzn.to/2jAUTtK

KOBO – http://bit.ly/2zdI7bH

ITUNES – http://apple.co/2hH64Ao

MY REVIEW

I’m interested in ‘all things old’ and have seen a few archaeological digs at historic properties here and in Scotland. When the opportunity came to read and review this book, I jumped at the chance.

It’s a relatively short read (about 150 pages) so I was able to read it in one sitting. A perfect pastime on a snowy Canadian day.

The action starts straight away and the modern mystery is revealed. But not in its entirety. You have to read to the end of the book to find out the rest of it.

The characters are well developed and likeable. I especially liked Beth who is trying to complete the work her grandfather started many years ago.

Just when you think you’ve figured it out, another twist is introduced making you re-think your ‘A-ha’ moment.

Nikki does a fantastic job of keeping the pace moving and keeping the secret concealed until she’s ready to reveal it.

For me, this was a 5-star read.

ABOUT NIKKI COPLESTON

SAINTLY GRAVE

Nikki Copleston worked in London for many years before moving back to the West Country where she was brought up. In 2016, she published the award-winning The Shame of Innocence, featuring DI Jeff Lincoln, and is currently rewriting an earlier Jeff Lincoln crime novel, The Price of Silence.

Nikki is a member of Frome Writers’ Collective, which supports and promotes writers in the area round Frome. She’s also a founder member of Stellar Scribes, a group of novelists from Wells and Glastonbury who love to share their passion for a good yarn, mainly through talks and events in libraries.

Fascinated by history, she enjoys exploring with her camera, photographing landscapes and quirky architecture, old and new. She and her husband now live in Wells, Somerset, with their cat.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikki.copleston

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikkicopleston

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16038413.Nikki_Copleston

Blog: https://nikkicopleston.com

Website:

Author: https://nikkicopleston.com

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

THE FATAL COIN by Lucienne Boyce #historical #fiction

FATAL COIN

The Fatal Coin

By

Lucienne Boyce

 

fatal coin

Genre: Historical fiction

Series: A Dan Foster Mystery

Release Date: 16 May 2017

Publisher: S Books

In the winter of 1794 Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster is assigned to guard a Royal Mail coach. The mission ends in tragedy when a young constable is shot dead by a highwayman calling himself Colonel Pepper. Dan is determined to bring Pepper to justice, but the trail runs cold.

Four months later Dan is sent to Staffordshire to recover a recently excavated hoard of Roman gold which has gone missing. Here he unexpectedly encounters Colonel Pepper again. The hunt is back on, and this time Dan will risk his life to bring down Pepper and his gang.

The Fatal Coin is a prequel to Bloodie Bones, the first Dan Foster Mystery, which was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.

EXTRACT

“Dan dragged himself to the injured man, leaned over him, tried to see how much blood there was. A lot.

‘Wilkinson, stay awake. Stay with me.’

Dan struggled to loosen the rope at his wrists until the skin was raw and bleeding. He and the naval lieutenant shuffled back-to-back and tried to unpick each other’s knots. Then they tried sawing the ropes on the rim of one of the mail coach’s wheels. At the end of an hour they had made little progress.

Release came when a carrier wagon full of seamen on their way back to their ships plodded along the road. But by then, Wilkinson was dead.”

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK

Amazon US

ABOUT LUCIENNE BOYCE

fatal coin

Lucienne Boyce is a historical novelist and women’s suffrage historian. Her first historical novel, To The Fair Land (SilverWood Books) an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas, was published in 2012. Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (SilverWood Books, 2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (SilverWood Books), a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about women’s suffrage.

Lucienne is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Society of Authors and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She is a regular presenter on the Silver Sound show for BCfm Radio, a Bristol community radio station.

Lucienne is working on the third Dan Foster Mystery, and a biography of a married couple who were involved in the suffragette, socialist and pacifist movements. She was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucienne.boyce

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucienneWrite

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437832.Lucienne_Boyce

Blog: http://francesca-scriblerus.blogspot.co.uk

Website: http://www.lucienneboyce.com

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

THE LISBON LABYRINTH by David Ebsworth #political #thriller

lisbon labyrinth

The Lisbon Labyrinth

by

David Ebsworth

 

lisbon labyrinth

Genre: Political thriller

Release Date: 1 May 2017

Publisher: sBooks

Lisbon, 1974. Journalist Jack Telford must hunt down a killer, solve a deadly riddle, renew his acquaintance with an old flame, and survive Portugal’s revolution in this taut thriller with a life-and-death finale, which Jack may survive, but only at great cost.

There is a dossier, upon which the whole of Portugal’s future may hang, and Jack’s quest to find both the killer and the lost documents will drag him into a labyrinth of deception and danger. Will his best-intentioned actions perhaps have the worst of consequences?

Is it too late for Jack’s past to be finally redeemed by love? And, in a world where nobody can be trusted, can Jack even trust himself?

EXTRACT

Jack Telford had been tortured in the past. In Spain, more than thirty-five years earlier. In ’38. It had cost him his left eye and much more besides. His interrogator now, as then, was a lieutenant. On this occasion, the fellow had introduced himself as Tenente Estéves. Slim and slight. A neat civilian suit, naturally, but a lieutenant – a lieutenant firmly in the pay of a secret police force deployed by the regime that had ruled Portugal with an iron fist over the past four decades.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON

KOBO

iTUNES

ABOUT DAVID EBSWORTH

lisbon labyrinth

David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer Dave McCall, a former negotiator for Britain’s Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool but has lived in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife Ann since 1981.

Following his retirement, Dave began to write historical fiction in 2009 and has subsequently published five novels: political thrillers dealing with the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War, the battle of Waterloo, warlord rivalry in sixth-century Britain, and the Spanish Civil War. His sixth book, Until the Curtain Falls – published in May 2017 – returns to that same Spanish conflict, following the story of journalist Jack Telford who, as it happens, is also the main protagonist in The Lisbon Labyrinth.

Each of Dave’s novels have been critically acclaimed by the Historical Novel Society and been awarded the coveted B.R.A.G. Medallion for independent authors. His work-in-progress is a series of a further nine novellas, covering the years from 1911 until 1919 and the lives of a Liverpudlian–Welsh family embroiled in the Suffragette movement.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EbsworthDavid

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5780879.David_Ebsworth?from_search=true

Website: http://www.davidebsworth.com

Author: http://www.davidebsworth.com

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

DEATH OF A CUCKOO by Wendy Percival #review

CuckooDeath of a Cuckoo

by

Wendy Percival

Cuckoo

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Series: An Esme Quentin Short Read

Release Date: 6 March 2017

Publisher: sBooks

A letter. A photograph. A devastating truth.

When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.

The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.

As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret, one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.

But someone is intent on keeping the secret hidden. Whatever it takes.

EXTRACT

I ran down the steps and squeezed my way down the slim passage. In the recess was a narrow door but it didn’t match the faded, peeling paint of the remainder of the house’s decoration. It was brighter, as though it had been protected from the elements. As I stepped closer, I realised that’s exactly what had happened. Under my feet were pieces of broken planking. Until very recently, this doorway had been covered by a decorative panel and disguised. So who had uncovered it? It couldn’t have been there at the viewing.

LINKS

Buy link:

http://amzn.to/2nzijPK

Goodreads link:

http://bit.ly/2nieCuW

My Review

I found this book an easy read. I finished in one sitting. I loved Esme. She reminds me of a young Miss Marple, determined to get to the bottom of any mystery no matter how big or how small.

Wendy’s writing is strong and her descriptive narrative of the old Victorian institution, I felt like I was there along with her characters.

I’ll definitely be looking for more books by this author.

ABOUT WENDY PERCIVAL

Cuckoo

Wendy Percival was born in the West Midlands and brought up in the Worcestershire countryside. After training as a primary school teacher she moved to North Devon in 1980 to take up her first teaching post and remained in teaching for 20 years.

An impulse buy of Writing Magazine inspired her to start writing seriously. She won Writing Magazine’s Summer Ghost Story competition in 2002 and had a short story published in The People’s Friend before focusing on full-length fiction.

The time honoured ‘box of old documents in the attic’ stirred her interest in genealogy and became the inspiration for the Esme Quentin mystery novels Blood-Tied and The Indelible Stain. She is currently working on the third in the series, where the clandestine past of the Second World War provides the secret world into which Esme must delve to uncover the truth.

When she’s not writing fiction, Wendy conducts her own family history research, sharing her finds on her blog, www.familyhistorysecrets.blogspot.com.

Wendy lives in a Devon thatched cottage beside a 13th-century church with her husband and a particularly talkative cat.

You can find more on her website www.wendypercival.co.uk.

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2mJj8TC

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendy_percival

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2lhecIA

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

Website: http://www.wendypercival.co.uk

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk