Self-Published Saturday: The Perfect Sister

Here is SP Saturday, a little late!

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Self-Published/Indie authors with marketing. These authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to marketing. If I can help even a little bit with marketing, I’m happy to do it. This week’s feature is a The Perfect Sister, a murder mystery set in 1904.

BOOK REVIEW

The Perfect Sister is a well-written, intriguing, and engaging historical mystery set in 1904. Katherine, the “good” and “quiet” sister, has never felt good enough in her father’s eyes. When her “perfect sister,” Lorraine, is murdered, and she encounters Lorraine’s accused killer, Katherine begins to learn the truth.

This is a compelling murder mystery/thriller and historical love story. The characters are well written and I connected with them right away. Katherine and Michael capture the reader’s attention right away, and the villains in the story are perfectly loathsome. The mystery held my interest, and I enjoyed the growth that Katherine experienced.

I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. Meath loves writing about little or unknown people, places and events in history, rather than relying on the typical stories and settings.

Contact Gail Meath

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BUY LINKS

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*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Blog Tour and Book Review: #TheWidow #Bookouture

BOOK DESCRIPTION

My husband was not a monster. No matter what they say…

The day my husband, Michael, stepped in front of a lorry after being questioned by the police, my world fell apart. He was devoted to me and our six-year-old daughter. But they’d connected him to the disappearance of a young mother from our tiny village.

Now I stand at Michael’s funeral, clutching my little girl’s hand, with tears in my eyes as I insist to all our friends that he died an innocent man. Yet the questions have started, and nothing I say will stop them digging for the truth.

But none of them can read the secrets in my heart, or know about the phone I found hidden in his toolbox…

I’m determined that my daughter will not remember her father as a monster. I will erase any hint of wrongdoing in this house whatever the cost.

Because to keep my daughter safe, the last thing I need is for people to start looking at me…

A completely gripping psychological thriller from the author of the number one bestseller The Marriage. If you like Gone GirlThe Girl on The Train and The Wife Between Us then you will love The Widow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

K.L. Slater

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

Kim’s social media:

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BOOK REVIEW

The Widow is a compelling psychological thriller that will keep you guessing and turning the page. The characters are well written, and the mystery is complex, with many twists and turns. The heartbreak of a young widow trying to protect her daughter and possibly clear her late husband is so real. The children, Tansy and Aleks, are captivating, and such a big part of the story. The author does a great job with character development and world building. The points of view change seamlessly between the various characters and the police department, and it does not disrupt the story. The reader will find themselves rooting for the widow as she tries to solve the mystery her husband left her. The final revelations in this multifaceted tale left me praising the author for a job well done. Fans of thrillers will be completely captivated by this enthralling mystery.

BUY LINKS

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Blog Tour and Book Review: Betsy Roberts #BiographicalFiction #SerialKillers

Book Description

This incredible story is based on true events concerning young Betsy Roberts – how she was kidnapped and abused but survived America’s first serial killers – the evil Harpe brothers – how she outlived and ultimately profited using her wits and sheer determination.

Betsy Roberts, a young woman from Kentucky is brutally kidnapped by notorious outlaws Micajah and Wiley Harpe who abuse then exploit her. The novel describes how Betsy uses her wits and courage to survive, and then ultimately prosper despite the most appalling conditions and treatment she suffers, in the wilderness of late eighteenth century America. She gradually becomes tainted by the evil, murderous activities of the Harpe brothers who, amongst other things, use her as bait to lure travelers to their deaths. She does this under duress initially but later becomes indifferent, even to the extent of being a willing accomplice.

Part 2 of the novel describes her long, gruelling journey of escape to New York in the early eighteen hundreds. It covers how she became a key figure there, developing businesses, illicit and legal, and the family dynasty she establishes.

The story is an extraordinary and gripping tale of horrific violence, a kaleidoscope of extraordinary characters, settings and and yet also incredible willpower, survival instincts. Betsy ultimately becomes a strong, determined woman but also uses almost any means to achieve her ends.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

N.G. Neville is the pseudonym or pen name of Geoff Burke and Nick Fisher, co-authors of ‘BETSY ROBERTS’ their first major novel. It was preceded by a shorter novel entitled ‘DEGENERATION The Story of Betsy Roberts’ which forms the first part of the full novel ‘BETSY ROBERTS’.

A sequel or more accurately prequel, a collection of short or not so short in some cases, stories will be published in 2021. It has a working title ‘DEATH and SALVATION’. Many of the amazing characters in ‘BETSY ROBERTS’ are present before they appear in the full novel. How they got to where they were in the novel forms a fascinating collection of truly extraordinary stories.


Follow N.G. Neville at:
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BOOK REVIEW

The story of Betsy Roberts is set in America, just after the Revolutionary War. This is a chilling, true tale of a young girl kidnapped by two ruthless and violent murderers, the Harpe Brothers, who are often described as America’s first serial killers. Used by the Harpe brothers in truly horrific ways, Betsy later becomes an almost willing accomplice, luring unsuspecting men to their deaths. When it becomes apparent that the brothers’ days are numbered, Betsy uses her good looks and charm to escape charges of wrongdoing. She begins a journey of her own that will change her fortunes forever.

This is a fascinating look at real-life events that are not for the faint of heart. The Harpe Brothers were truly evil, and the rapes and murders they committed are described in chilling detail. The effect of all of this on Betsy and how it shaped her life and future decisions is fascinating. Betsy’s future actions were possibly influenced by years of abuse, and, while this book is definitely biographical fiction, it sometimes becomes almost a psychological study of Betsy as well. Were the choices she made shaped by years of physical and mental torment from the Harpe Brothers? The characters are well written. There is sometimes a little more “telling” than “showing,” but this is a compelling story. Readers should be prepared for shocking violence and abuse against adults and children, especially in the first half of the book. Fans of historical fiction and the crime/thriller genre will be fascinated by this story of the first serial killers in America.

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

BUY LINKS

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Blog Tour and Book Review: I Know Your Secret by Jess Roy

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Dr Amanda Brody has it all – or so it seems. 

Married to a leading medical consultant, with a fabulous career, two amazing children, and a beautiful house in the suburbs of Galway City. 

Everything is perfect – or is it? 

Because Amanda hides a secret. 

One she has lived with for years. A secret so terrible she has no doubt it will destroy her life if ever it is revealed.  

And this is exactly what happens, starting with a note pinned to her car, on it just four words: I Know Your Secret.

Who knows her secret? Who does she turn to? Who does she trust? 

Amanda’s worst nightmare has just begun. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

(In his own words) I’ve been writing all my life and have an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. However, I never really had the confidence, or focus, to pursue it properly until relatively recently. I am a civilian employee of the Irish police, An Garda Síochána. Since 2014 I have written six novels, three published by Bookouture. More recently, I Know Your Secret, a domestic psychological thriller, will be published by Question Mark Press on November 1 next. I also like to play guitar, write the odd ditty, and sing American country songs. 

Jess Roy’s Social Media

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BOOK REVIEW

This is a gripping psychological thriller that will keep you turning the page. The reader will be taken on a dark and dangerous adventure where mind games are in play. The characters are well developed, and there are shocking twists, turns, and surprises. The main character, Amanda, is surrounded by deceit and terror, and nothing is certain as danger draws ever closer. Fans of thrillers will want to try this compelling and mind-bending read. As a warning, readers should be aware of a rape in the main character’s past.

I received a free copy of this book from Question Mark Press via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK 

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Blog Tour, Q&A, and Book Review: Amongst the Mists

BOOK DESCRIPTION

It was the most anticipated summer break of their young lives. 

For Bran Lampshire, that summer of 1986 would be far different. The lure of a wilderness adventure sends him and his friends on a troublesome journey that would see them far from home and into the isolated shadows of the Sleathton Estate. In a forgotten land where nature thrives, an unexplained mist settles upon the shaded grounds. And stories were told of events so chilling, they were forcibly buried over time.

Lose yourself beneath the endless trees. And discover that legends are sometimes so much more than ghost stories.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.L. Rayner

Born and bred in the county of Staffordshire. Matt is a keen reader of classical, horror and fantasy literature and enjoys writing in the style of traditional ghost stories. During his working life, Matt joined the ambulance service in 2009, transporting critically ill patients all over the UK. After writing his first novel, Matt was welcomed into the family of Question Mark Press publishing and now dedicates his time on future releases. His hobbies include genealogy and hiking, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma, his children, and his family.

CONTACT M.L. RAYNER

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BOOK REVIEW

Bran and his friend Marcus are going on an adventurous trek from their town of Bonhil Dale into the wilderness surrounding the mysterious Sleathton Estate.  Marcus has planned a 9-day hike and decides to also bring along Jack, an odd new boy in town, much to Bran’s displeasure.  The three boys hike into the woods and meet an old man, Gregory, who takes them to his house for the night.  When one of the boys disappears, Gregory begins to tell a story of children disappearing in the swamps and mists of the forest.  Blended into the novel in separate chapters is the story of a missing girl, Olivia, who is chasing a ghostly voice through the same forest.  

Amongst the Mists is a clever mix of paranormal and horror fiction with a heavy dose of folklore and sprinklings of the crime/thriller genre.  M.L. Rayner perfectly blends ghostly figures, mythical creatures, and mysterious characters into a hair-raising but clever tale.  The mystery will keep you guessing until the end, and the cliffhangers between chapters raise the alarm level even more.  The fates of the children collide and the ending is surprising and unexpected. The author’s note at the end is not to be missed as he tells of myths and legends that influenced this book.  Fans of horror and the paranormal, bring your imagination and a flashlight, and be prepared for some terror, because we are about to travel into the Mists. 

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Links To Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read the ebook for free.

Q&A WITH AUTHOR M.L. RAYNER

Let’s go beyond the bio.  Tell us something about yourself we might not know after reading your bio. 

I love comic cons and collecting signed memorabilia. I usually attend these conventions three or four times a year.  

You mention your inspiration for Amongst the Mists in your author’s note at the end.  Could you share a little of that inspiration for our readers?

Many local stories can just get lost in time. I think there are so many tales of myths and ghosts that many don’t realise there is an element of truth to them. For Amongst the Mists I wanted to capture a little bit of old story telling. 

As a reader, I find that genres cross many lines.  While some classify your books as horror, I would classify them also as paranormal/magical realism.  This one has some of the crime/thriller genre in it as well.  How would you classify it?

I would agree with you. Although I set out to purely write a short story of *something* in the woods, it exploded into something much more. The idea I had for this book was horror. But yes, you’re quite right. There is a good slice of Paranormal and crime involved. If I had to pick I would lean towards Paranormal

This is something I’ve always wanted to ask a writer of paranormal/ghost stories: These stories are supposed to be a little scary.  Do you ever scare yourself while writing these stories?


I can get Goosebumps from time to time. Its all down to the image you create in your head. You have to translate that to paper and hope the reader envisions the same. 

I have read your previous book, Echoes of Home, as well as this one.  Tell our readers about your previous work and what you might be working on next.

Echoes of home  is written in the style of a classic ghost story, and as clean as I could make it. After reading plenty of horror novels I wanted to write something based on not just ghosts but the unsettling sense of isolation. My first book is very special to me and includes a very powerful, yet true backstory. 

What’s up next – I am currently writing my first YA horror book which will be part of the new Question Mark Horror series. I believe it is due for release around March next year.

As your writing journey continues, what are some things you have learned that you can share with other authors?

Help is always at hand. I am involved with a very supportive group of authors and admins that all support each other. Try and share your work to gain feedback and don’t be put down by advice.

Book Review: When Ghosts Come Home

Winston Barnes, Sheriff of a Coastal North Carolina town in the 1980s, is investigating a plane crash. The pilot, passengers, and cargo have disappeared, a young black man is dead, and everyone is a suspect. At the same time, racial tension is exploding in the town, and the Sheriff’s daughter has left her husband and returned home. To top it all off, the Sheriff is in the middle of running for re-election.

This is a mystery told from multiple points of view, but also the story of a town torn apart by racism and corruption. Racism is the main theme, but the issue of grief is also explored. The author gives us a look deep into the hearts of the characters, especially Jay, Ed Bellamy, Winston, and Colleen. Not many mysteries can touch the heart, but this one does by baring the souls of the characters so well. 
It is written with the slow, rhythmical pace of a small town, but will occasionally reach out and slap you in the face with a shock or surprise, just as life will sometimes do. Fans of mysteries will enjoy this novel, but anyone who loves a well-developed story with complex characters should give this a read.

I received a free copy of this book from William Morrow and Custom House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

COVER RATING

The photo on the cover is very relevant to the book. I’ve gotten used to graphic design on the covers, which I think might pop a little more than photos, but the colors in the clouds do stand out. Since Cash is already a best-selling author, is the cover still just as important? What does everyone else think?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home. He’s been a fellow at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and he teaches fiction writing and literature at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, where he serves as Alumni Author-in-Residence. His new novel, When Ghosts Come Home, will be available September 21. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, photographer Mallory Cash, and their daughters.

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MY AMAZON REVIEW (“HELPFUL” VOTES APPRECIATED)

#Book Review: My Name is Cain

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Mother Evelyn needs to solve a major problem, and Hannah, a young nun fresh out of college, is the one for the job. Joining the Inner Circle of the Abbey of St. Margaret is an eye-opener for Hannah, to say the least. Travel with Hannah and her Vatican Intelligence cohorts on a roller-coaster ride around the world as she discovers many secrets including . . .Did Cain ever die? The death of one of the prime characters in Genesis was never mentioned. Is he still alive?Who are the Elohim? How is Mother Evelyn always prepared for what is going to happen?Journey into a genre rarely touched—Christian science fiction

#BOOK REVIEW

My only comment prior to the review below is a question. Am I allowed to use the word “badass” in a Christian book review? Because I did.

This surprising novel starts out with a group of nuns in an abbey, and the reader has no idea they are about to enter a world of intrigue, spies, aliens, extrasensory powers, space travel, and cyber technology. Biblical characters, scriptures, prophecies, and events are woven through it all. The author keeps us in suspense as he expertly unveils one surprise after another. I was absolutely kept on the edge of my seat as a group of nuns revealed themselves to be badass operatives, bent on saving the human race. This book is so imaginative and well written that I was completely riveted to each page. The characters are complex and layered, and the layers are slowly peeled off as they reveal their true identities. The plot is so creative and the story itself is fast paced and hurtles forward to a shocking conclusion. There appears to be plenty of opening for a sequel, and I sincerely hope we get one. Fans of Christian fiction, Science fiction, Thrillers, and the Paranormal will enjoy this enticing, multi-faceted thriller mashup. In this well-written, imaginative novel, Dean Sparks shows us that Christian fiction can be bold, exciting, astonishing, and unexpected.  

I received a free copy of this book via Reedsy Discovery. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dean Sparks is first and foremost a Christian. He loves his wife abundantly. Four of his children, all daughters, were born in one year! Dean is thrilled to be a father and grandfather to the family’s six children and five grandchildren. He loves his job as a Chick-fil-A franchisee and has been with Chick-fil-A since 1978. Dean is an out-of-the-box thinker who is worth reading. You can contact him at authordeansparks.com or via e-mail at dean.sparks@authordeansparks.com.

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#Book Review: Local Woman Missing

Shelby Tebow goes missing while out on a run. Soon after, a mother, Meredith, is found dead and her daughter Delilah has disappeared. Eleven years later, a young girl escapes from a basement prison. Who is she? Does it all tie together?

This is a heartrending thriller by Mary Kubica. It is full of twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the end. The story is told from several points of view, which can be unsettling at times. There are some occurrences which seem a little unrealistic, but overall this is a riveting, captivating story. Three and a half stars, rounded up to four on sites with no half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from Harlequin (Park Row Books) via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many novels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. Mary lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children

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#Book Review and #Blog Tour: Time Ripper

*Book Review at the bottom of the page.

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TimeRipper

Welcome to the book tour for time-travelling, sci-fi, TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey! Read on for more details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway– A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

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Publication Date: February 25th, 2021

Genre: Time Travel/ Thriller/ Historical Fiction/ Sci-Fi

Publisher: Dammaged Productions

It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured.The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet.It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London?A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake.Legends can happen anytime…

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About the Author

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My name is David McCluskey, I am an author from Liverpool in the UK. I have written seven novels so far. TimeRipper is my latest. I started writing about 15 years ago, beginning with short horror stories for children that were written in rhyme. I enlisted the services of an artist and created my very first comic from them. Interesting Tymes is a great seller at comic conventions around the UK, as it offered something that a lot of comics these days don’t, something for the children to get their teeth into (so to speak).

I then began to create more comics, some for children, some for adults, before creating my own graphic novels. Doppelgänger is a dark psychological horror, Olf is a children’s graphic novel about Father Christmas and his reindeer, A Christmas Carol is a rewriting of the original tale, but in rhyme, and DeathDay Presents is an adult comedy based in Hell.

From there I moved on to writing novels. My debut novel The Twelve is still my best seller on Amazon.

I write under the name of D E McCluskey for my adult fiction, and I will be launching a children’s range of novels this year under the name Dave McCluskey (I don’t want children buying some of the other horror based stuff by accident).

I still live in Liverpool with my partner, Lauren, and our children, Grace and Sian. We have a sausage dog called Ted, who likes to leave little sausages around the house, just to remind us why he is a sausage dog.

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Giveaway: A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

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Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

BOOK REVIEW

This is a time traveling thriller that fans of science fiction will enjoy. Time travel novels are near and dear to my heart, and I’ve read a lot of them. The means of travel is very important in time travel fiction and to me as a reader. This book leans heavily on the scientific rather than fantasy approach to time travel, and the author makes it work. The Higgs Boson particle plays a big part. The timeline splits between 2288 and 1888 in Whitechapel, East London, as Jack the Ripper make an appearance. There is a completely new theory as to who Jack might be, but that is just part of the story, as there is a battle for the future of Earth between the Earth Alliance in 2288 and a strange movement called The Quest, who are in Whitechapel 1888 trying to change the future.

Fans of science fiction, murder mysteries, and thrillers should check out this gripping, time-traveling mashup.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

#Book Review: A Peculiar Combination

A Peculiar Combination was one of my favorites of all the books I read for the May edition of Historical Novels Review. They also made this book an “Editor’s Choice.” It’s a great read and the start of a new series.

A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver is the first book in the new Electra McDonnell series, which is set in World War II England. Electra (Ellie) belongs to a family of thieves.   Her Uncle Mick is a master safecracker, and she and her cousins, Toby and Colm, have learned everything they know from him. With Toby and Colm off fighting in the war, it is up to Ellie and Uncle Mick to keep supporting the family. When a house robbery goes bad, Ellie finds herself working for a government official, Major Ramsey, in order to keep herself and Uncle Mick out of jail. Their first mission leads to more as it becomes clear a traitor is at work and German spies are involved.

This is an engaging and addictive historical thriller with a touch of romance. I immediately connected with these characters, especially Ellie and Uncle Mick. Ellie is an intriguing and complex individual. She is a thief and safecracker, but has also been to finishing school. She can operate in any level of society, which makes her a perfect thief and a perfect spy. Uncle Mick is a locksmith by day and safecracker by night, but he has a moral code, even as a thief, that he will not break. He has passed that code onto Ellie.    Ellie’s missions into high society with the Major are thrilling and fun to watch. They are a reminder that World War II was also fought silently by spies on both sides.   Fans of historical thrillers and strong female characters are going to love this World War II spy adventure.  Highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana. She is the author of the Amory Ames series and the new Electra McDonnell series.

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