#BlogTour: Dead End by Rachel Lynch #Extract

Out: 8th October 2018

A gripping DI Kelly Porter crime thriller (Detective Kelly Porter #3)


Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

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…



My thoughts

I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to host an extract from the third book in Rachel Lynch’s DI Kelly Porter series Dead End having read and loved the two previous books Dark Game and Deep Fear …..

Many thanks to Ellie at Canelo for inviting me to take part in the Dead End Blog Tour.


I am so glad to see this series continuing to bring such terrific stories from Rachel Lynch. We have also been able to see Kelly and Johnny’s relationship develop. Here they are chatting about Kelly’s career but then an item comes on the news ……


Extract – Chapter Two

‘It’s the same in the army,’ Johnny said now. ‘The better you are in the field – allegedly – the higher you go and the further away from the real troops. You end up getting a bunch of muppets sitting behind desks in Whitehall, making decisions for the boots on the ground and risking their lives. They get out of touch. It’s like teaching or the NHS: top heavy with honour-seeking egotists. It’s crazy but unavoidable.’ He never had to explain army jargon to Kelly, because it was so close to the language used by coppers. It was one of the things they loved about each other.

‘And that’s exactly what I don’t want. I joined to be a copper, not a document-handler. Paperwork doesn’t excite me, Johnny.’

‘I know, but there are benefits too: you’d have the authority to get other people to do stuff on your behalf,’ he pointed out. ‘Isn’t that what always frustrates you? When you know what you’ve got to get through, when you should be concentrating on connecting the dots rather than drawing them all first? I’ve seen it, I’ve seen you doing it, and you hate it.’

‘I know, but if I’m not there at the beginning, then I’m playing catch-up. It’s Hobson’s choice,’ she said. She stood up and pulled her jeans over her wet bikini bottoms; she’d rather do that than hang around and get colder. They started to pack up.

‘What about the money?’ he asked.

‘You don’t strike me as the type to bother about that kind of thing,’ she said, and smiled.

‘I only don’t bother about it because I have enough of it. Stop evading the question. No one refuses promotion, Kelly.’

‘Well I do. I’m happy where I am, and I’ve built a cracking team that works.’

‘Can’t you take the title and stay where you are?’ he asked.

‘I already asked that. They’re thinking about it.’

Johnny shook his head. She’d been sitting on the information all along.

She slipped on flip-flops and picked up her things, wet hair dripping down her sweater. She didn’t mind; she wasn’t the type to get prissy about it. He slapped her bottom again, probably half because he knew it pissed her off, and half because he wanted to touch her. She rounded on him and stuck her chin out.

‘I love that face,’ he said.

She turned around and marched away, with Johnny bringing up the rear. She knew he was watching her swing her hips from side to side, as she did when she was making a point.


When they reached her house in Pooley Bridge, she went straight to the fireplace to start a fire. The evening air still had a pinch in it, and besides, Kelly liked to take advantage of the open fireplace in her new home whenever she could. She could stare at the flames lapping over glowing logs all evening. Johnny opened a bottle of wine, and Kelly flicked on the news. They were growing more comfortable with each other, and moved around like a couple. Occasionally Kelly considered making things official, but more often than not she dismissed the idea straight away.

The TV had been left on full volume for some reason, and the noise assaulted them.

‘Concerns are growing as to the whereabouts of two young women in Cumbria,’ said the reporter. The man was standing ten minutes from Kelly’s door, at Howtown campsite. Both Kelly and Johnny were aware of the drama unfolding not ten minutes from where they lived; Johnny had been a part of the initial search for the girls, which was still ongoing. They watched the report intently and Kelly sipped her wine. It was full-bodied and herby, just the way she liked it. She’d put one of her junior officers in charge. These types of cases usually ended up the same way: with the unfortunate hikers being found stuck on some crag somewhere with piss poor equipment and no phone. Kelly laid her head on Johnny’s chest, and he moved so that he could put his feet up with hers. He probably wouldn’t be going anywhere tonight.

‘The two women were last seen at around six o’clock on Sunday evening, two days ago.’

Kelly’s eyes half closed as she allowed herself to relax. She was trusting Rob Shawcross to investigate the case; unless something major changed to elevate the file beyond missing, she herself wouldn’t need to become involved. Now, however, photographs of the missing girls appeared on the screen, and she sat up.

‘What is it?’ Johnny asked.

The missing persons’ case had been just that to Kelly: a report containing data that needed to be classified, and that was all. It wasn’t necessary for a detective of her rank to delve further unless it was elevated to suspicious, and that didn’t normally happen for forty-eight hours, by which time they’d surely be found. She hadn’t seen the girls’ photographs. Until now.

The two young women were in their late teens. They attended Lancaster University together and had been on a camping trip to Howtown, near Ullswater, when they disappeared. Initial enquiries had unearthed ordinary profiles; nothing that raised alarms. The girls seemed to be sensible, skilled and used to the mountains, with no history of rash decisions or risk-taking. Rob had contributed the details in the team brief this morning, and mountain rescue was working round the clock.

Kelly fiddled with her hair and looked at the photographs again. Johnny watched her.

As she studied their faces, she bit the inside of her lip. Both girls had striking blonde hair, and were also extremely pretty. It was something in the shape of the faces, as well as the hair colour and age, that made Kelly reassess the status of the inquiry. In February, another young woman had gone missing and there’d been a medium-scale hunt involving local TV and radio, but the case had been passed to Lancaster when it was revealed that the last sighting was Carnforth train station. Now, alarm bells were ringing.

‘They look just like Freya,’ she said.

‘Who?’ Johnny asked.

‘Freya Hamilton. She went missing just under four months ago. We got a call from Humberside Police – that’s where it was reported, by her sister – saying she was working in the Lakes at the time. We took it on, but it quickly became clear that there’d been a sighting of her since then in Lancashire, so we passed it to them.’

‘You never mentioned her,’ Johnny said.

‘I know, the case was off my desk as quickly as it landed really. To be honest, I never gave it a second thought after it went to Lancashire Police.’

‘So you’ve no idea if she was found?’


‘But now you want to know?’

She looked at him and nodded, biting her lip.

‘Yes, I do.’


My thoughts – part 2!

Wow! Well that just left me wanting to rush off and read more! I’ll definitely be reading and reviewing this wonderful book soon, thanks Ellie and Canelo for a copy.

So, here in the third book it looks like we are getting to know Kelly even more on a personal level, which is what a series gives to the reader and one of the reasons I enjoy reading them. Also, from this extract, we can see the start of another amazing story and it’s sure to be another cracker. Like to see more about Dead End? then do read on…

Blog Tour

So, you’d like to read more about Dead End? Well just look at all these blogs you can check out on the rest of this terrific tour…..



Publisher: Canelo

ISBN: 9781788630214

Buy:        Amazon (UK)       Kobo (UK)         Google Books (UK)         Apple Books (UK)




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.

Rachel Lynch at Canelo           Twitter: ‎@r_lynchcrime

Previous Books

Dark Game and Deep Fear

Genre: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural


The Bandit Queen by Natalia O’Hara (Author), Lauren O’Hara (Illustrator

Hardcover – 4 Oct 2018


Book blurb

“O Bandit Queen!” the bandits cried.
“Little horror! Poison weed!
We’ll give you everything a queen could ever need…”

A beautiful book about finding family in unexpected places, from the creators of Hortense and the Shadow.


My thoughts

A gorgeous book. The O’Hara sisters are doing again with there second, beautifully illustrated book.

When bandits find more than they were expecting amongst their ill gotten gains we are off on the story of The Bandit Queen. A charming tale, not as dark than the first, which demonstrates that family can be made in different ways and found in all sorts of places.

Setting aside my thoughts which shot off towards kidnapping, borne from years of reading crime fiction, because this is a children’s book, a fairytale, and a wonderful one at that.

As we know fairytales were often based on scary, even criminal activities and used as a way of warning children in terms that they could easily understand to be careful. Here it is more a heartwarming tale of realising that family is wherever you feel most welcome, comfortable, loved and knowing that’s where you want to be.

I think it should appeal to both girls and boys of the recommended age range of 5-7 year olds. I hope the sisters, author and illustrator, continue to produce more books of this quality.

Highly recommended.

With thanks for the invitation from Puffin who provided an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for this.



Publisher:       Puffin (4 Oct. 2018)

Age Range: 5-7 years              Hardcover: 32 pages               Language: English

ISBN-10: 9780141374031       ISBN-13: 978-0141374031       ASIN: 0141374039

Buy:                 Amazon – UK

Author: Natalia O’Hara

036D6D73-5C38-40DE-B458-859D26B44691We’re sisters who make children’s books together. Natalia writes and Lauren, who’s three years younger, illustrates. Raised in the north of England we now live in London. Our first picture book, Hortense and the Shadow, was published by Puffin at Penguin Random House in October 2017, and our second book is out this year.

Illustrator: Lauren O’Hara

O’Hara Sisters on Twitter                              O’Hara Sisters Website



Death in Paris by Emilia Bernhard

The only thing chillier than a Parisian winter is cold-blooded murder.

The start of a delightful new cozy mystery series in which two American women are drawn into solving a series of crimes set in each Parisian arrondissement.

Book blurb

When French financier Edgar Bowen drowns in a bowl of soup, his former girlfriend, American Rachel Levis, is alarmed by the unnatural death. Who dies eating a nice vichyssoise? But when she overhears a mourner at his funeral describing the circumstances of his death, something sounds even stranger: a bottle of rosé was on the dining table when he died. The only problem: Edgar loathed rosé. If he wasn’t drinking it, who was?

After the police rule the death accidental, Rachel knows it’s up to her and her best friend Magda to investigate. As the two Americans immerse themselves in Edgar’s upper-class world, the list of suspects grows: Could it have been his son, who inherited his money and lavish apartment? His icy ex-wife? His greedy new girlfriend? His impoverished personal assistant?

But when the suspects start dropping like flies, Rachel and Magda realize the murderer is tying up loose ends. It’ll be up to two amateur sleuths to solve their first case before the murderer decides they’re next…

My thoughts

Two ex-pat Americans – Rachel and Magda – decide to look into the death of an ‘old beau’ of Rachels who has supposedly died from drowning in a bowl of soup. Apart from the rather unusual death the only reason Rachel was sure this had to be murder was a bottle of rosé wine, something Edgar would never drink, on the dining table.

The two women take their sleuthing very seriously but are new and really rely on various fiction and non-fiction TV programmes, with a little internet help thrown in, to guide them along their way.

This is the first of a series of books which will be based in Paris here a murder – or is it? -committed in the first arrondissement.* Everyone, even the police, are content that whilst it was a tragic death there was no foul play. Rachel, however is convinced that it was murder and is determined to find out what happened and bring the murderer to account.

What a charming modern-day ‘cosy’ mystery murder. We follow the two women as they ponder what might have actually occurred, investigate various suspects and try to find the evidence that would convince the police that they are right.

We walk with them, we ride the metro and learn a little of Paris and the people of Paris which is wonderful. I have only been to Paris once, many years ago, but I loved having it as a setting. A setting which certainly added to the enjoyment of this book. We also become truly engaged with the two lead characters and their quest. It will be a pleasure to read of more of their escapades in future books.

Nor are they the only characters to enjoy there are several suspects, Rachel’s partner Alan, the solicitor Benoît, Kiki and more. They are nicely presented, believable and well crafted. Mind you one or two of the minor characters were drawn in, it seemed to me, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner. Indeed the story is not without amusement, it is a lovely, lighthearted story in the sense that it is in no way gory. Nevertheless it does have some tense moments, there are more deaths and the pace picks up as we come towards the conclusion of this charming story.

All in all a book which will engage, allowing the reader to immerse themselves for a few hours in a well plotted, enjoyable whodunnit, or should that be who-didn’t-do-it, and allow this cosy mystery to envelop you.

*The city of Paris itself is officially divided into 20 districts called arrondissements, numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral from the centre of the city (which is known as Kilometre Zero and is located at the front of Notre Dame). If you would like to view Paris on a map and see them for yourself take a look Parisnet.com

With thanks to David Haviland of Thistle Publishing for an eBook of Death in Paris. All thoughts are my own, I have received no payment for reviewing this book.


Publisher:       Thistle Publishing    (22 Aug 2018)         @ThistleBooks

Imprint:          Crooked Lane Books        (9 Oct 2018).

Pages: 336

Available Formats:

Hardcover:  ISBN: 978-1-68331-768-5

Epub:             ISBN: 978-1-68331-769-2

Epdf               ISBN: 978-1-68331-770-8

Audio Download:

  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 25 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk       Release Date: 9 Oct. 2018
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07GL14MZ5


Buy:              Amazon – audible       Amazon.com        Amazon UK



06AEA476-D255-4492-BB56-08ECCD8A0B78Emilia Bernhard was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1968. She got a B.A. from the University of Iowa, an M.A. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. A keen mover, she has lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Iowa City, Iowa; London, England; Boston, Massachusetts; Fayetteville, Arkansas, Cambridge, England, and Exeter, England. She currently lives in Bristol, also in England. She is a passionate lover of cats and baked goods. Although she has been writing all her life, Death in Paris is Bernhard’s first published novel, and the first in the continuing Death in Paris series. The series’ two detectives, Rachel Levis and Magda Stevens, are based in part on her and her best friend. In her other capacity, she works at the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, teaching Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Academic Writing.

Follow Emilia Bernhard on Twitter

Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir (translated by Quentin Bates)

First in the Reykjavik Noir Trilogy


Book blurb

After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash.
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

My thoughts

Set in Iceland in the aftermath of the financial crisis and, with the air still full of ash, it is winter.

Sonja is divorced from Adam and only has access to her son Thomas every other weekend. The divorce was financially crippling and she got in with some very bad people in order to pay off her debts. She is drug smuggling and trying to break free only seems to get her in deeper with the Snare. But her travelling has caught the eye of customs officer Bragi he has a gut feeling about Sonja and he’s watching her.

Agla is a senior bank executive being investigated by the police for her part in the Iceland financial crash. She is Sonja’s lover. 

There is no police investigation into Sonja’s activities as we are being told the story from her point of view although we also hear from Agla and Bragi – it is a lesser used perspective of the genre and this allows the reader to relate in a sympathetic way with Sonja as we get to know her story. 

You are drawn into the characters some of whom are quite colourful, if not very nice, and the author has a wonderfully vivid imagination with which she draws some riveting and suspenseful scenes of the situations Sonja gets herself into. The tiger scene was quite something!

Well written it keeps you hooked with the short chapters ensuring that the story moves along at a good pace. There is plenty of tension – mainly from the smuggling aspect – in this nicely constructed plot but you also get the storyline of how Sonja finds herself in this position, her relationships with Thomas, Agla and Adam and her desire to be free of the Snare. Will she ever be free? You’ll need to read this terrific book to find out.

This is the first book that I have read by Lilja Sigurdardóttir and I would certainly recommend it.


Published:         Orenda Books

Paperback: 240 pages

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1910633801

ISBN-13: 978-1910633809

Buy:                   Amazon


98A11A54-4DAD-4EFA-A37E-AF32B4BC3420Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Follow Lilja on Twitter  and on her Website


Steps (Spor), 2009
Forgiveness (Fyrirgefning), 2010
Snare (Gildran) 2015 (Reykjavík Noir 1)
Trap (Netið) 2016 (Reykjavík Noir 2)
Cage (Búrið) 2017 (Reykjavík Noir 3)
Svik (no English title yet) 2018

Lilja’s latest book, Svik is a standalone thriller with a political twist and will be published in Iceland in October 2018 by Forlagid publishing.

Coming soon: Trap #BlogTour

The second of the Reykjavik Noir Trilogy – Trap – is published in the UK in October 2018


A058E33B-78A4-4702-A31F-A65537E19136Translator: Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language, a new profession as a seaman and a family before decamping en masse for England.

He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism largely by accident. He has been the technical editor of a nautical magazine for many years, all the while keeping a close eye on his second home in Iceland, before taking a sidestep into writing fiction. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, and Cold Comfort), which have been published in the UK, USA, Germany, Holland, Finland and Poland. He has translated a great deal of news and technical material into English from Icelandic, as well as novels.

Visit him at Quentin’s website or on Twitter.


Old Haunts by Susan Hill – a Simon Serrailler short story

Out now


Book blurb

One hot summer’s day, an old flame turns up at Lafferton HQ and Simon Serrailler is catapulted back to his days as a fresh-faced PC in the Met.

That long febrile summer in the early 1990s, London was reeling from one IRA bomb warning after another. Sirens. Blue lights. Tyres screaming. People running. The army called in. And Simon in the thick of it. Until he’s pulled aside and put on a very different kind of job: his first undercover op awaits. Will the young Simon be able to hold his nerve? Or is he walking into a trap?

My thoughts

A short story which seems to be giving readers a little bit of background to Simons early career in the Police force. It is prompted by a visit from an old friend which jogs his memory and we go back with him to London. It’s at the time of IRA activity and there have been bombings. His station is on high alert but there are also a number of hoax callings happening. He is picked for an undercover job – all very cloak and dagger – implying that taking part will be good for his career. He’s keen to get on a CID fast track so Simon goes along and soon his instructions, such as they are, come through. What happens next … well no spoilers here!

Short stories can be strange things, they can just be a stand-alone story which you take as it is given and enjoy (or not) which is fine, end of as it were. They have to be tautly written drawing the reader in, getting across the point with characters, whether to love or hate, to connect with and give a fulfilling read. Not easy in a few pages.

As with a number of authors this short story is linked to a novel, especially a series, giving readers insights to enhance their knowledge, understanding of a character or situation. In this case it seemed to me more a re-introduction to DCI Simon Serrailler for readers. So going back to his early Police career maybe just giving that bit of backstory that will be useful to know when the new book comes out rather than for interest only. It can’t be crucial to the new book as not everyone will read a short story, even when linked to a book/series they enjoy. That is why I find this kind of short story a little strange so I don’t tend to read them. I feel it can be a bit of a waste – money, time – with nothing really necessary to the next book. In this instance I was intrigued as I understood that the last book was supposed to be just that – the last of the Serrailler series – and so I thought it might be good to get back into the Lafferton mind-set. And that is just what it has done – which is great.

But then it also contained a preview of the new book – now that’s a risk! If I read it and don’t like it oh my! I could just not read it but it’s there……..

I was looking forward to the new book……..

and, thank goodness, I still am!

This short story has reassured me that the new book is going to be just as good, as well written (as one would expect of the author) and that there is a story needing to be told and the excerpt that tells me it’s going to be another cracking read from Susan Hill.

With thanks to the publisher Penguin-Vintage for a copy of Old Haunts via NetGalley. This is my own opinion. I have not received any payment in relation to my review.


Print Length: 39 pages

Publisher: Penguin: Vintage Digital (16 Aug. 2018)

Language: English


Buy: currently 99p  Amazon

Author99E929B7-A39F-47FE-BD05-7C737E6695FDSusan Hill has been a professional writer for over fifty years. Her books have won awards and prizes including the Whitbread, the John Llewellyn Rhys and the Somerset Maugham; and have been shortlisted for the Booker. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Honours. Her novels include Strange Meeting, I’m the King of the Castle, In the Springtime of the Year and A Kind Man. She has also published autobiographical works and collections of short stories as well as the Simon Serrailler series of crime novels. The play of her ghost story The Woman in Black has been running in London’s West End since 1988. She has two adult daughters and lives in North Norfolk.

       Susan’s website






Blackpool Lass by Maggie Mason #BlogTour @Authormary #Giveaway #BookReview

Paperback – 20 Sep 2018



Book Blurb

A gritty, emotional tale of 1930s Blackpool from bestselling saga author Mary Wood, writing as Maggie Mason

The perfect read for fans of Mary Wood, Kitty Neale, Val Wood and Nadine Dorries

Orphaned and destitute, will Grace find her own way in the world?

When Grace’s Ma passes away and her Da’s ship sinks with all hands, Grace is utterly alone in the world. She’s sent to an orphanage, but the master has an eye for a pretty young lass. Grace won’t be his victim, so she runs, destitute, into the night.

In Blackpool, she finds a home with the kindly Sheila and Peggy – and meets a lovely airman. But it’s 1938, and war is on the horizon. Will Grace ever find the happiness and home she deserves?


My thoughts

This is a wonderful story of a teenage girl who suffers many trials and tribulations in her young life some of which no-one, let alone a thirteen year old, should suffer. After loosing all her family in a short period of time Grace is sent to an orphanage. Maggie Mason pulls no punches in describing what happens to Grace and the other’s that spent time in the orphanage. Grace will not have any of it and soon runs away back to her hometown of Blackpool.

Connecting with friends who take her in we read of how her life goes. This book covers the period 1924 to 1945 with the main story taking place between 1932 and 1941. Life is harsh and you have to work hard to even scrape a living so friends and family are important and these relationships are lovingly brought to life by Maggie Mason.

The author not only tells a terrific story but her characters are great and she brings them to life wonderfully. Gracie is the main character tough and determined as she needs to be to get through what life throws at her. There are many other characters in the story one or two not so nice but by and large the folk that Gracie encounters are warm, generous with what they have, kind-hearted and very supportive. The sense of family – in all it’s sense – and place is really well done in this book.

Not everything goes the way Gracie would want and life in these times gives her, and the women of that era, difficult and unpleasant things to deal with. Still it was life back then and it is right to include it and the author does so subtly and honestly without needing to be graphic weaving these parts of life into the story really well.

We are between the World Wars and life is beginning to change although attitudes and society are slow to keep up men still expect to be the head of the household but women are starting to see this shouldn’t be the way. It might take some time but the book reflects well on the desire and how women strive for a life in which they are treated in a fairer way.

I’d like to take a moment to say how well the sense of place is told in the book. Knowing Fleetwood and, to some degree, Blackpool it was lovely to recognise some of the places and things written about. Conjuring up memories of childhood, albeit in the 1960s and 1970s, of playing on the Mount, taking a ride on the tram, the fun of the seaside and, of course, the illuminations.

Gracie is a terrific character and supported in the story with her Granny, Peggy, Sheila, Aunty Maggie and many more this makes for a wonderful, heartwarming but realistically told story. This is one for those who enjoy something a little more substantial and will certainly appeal to readers who enjoy a story with a strong sense of setting, period and society. The Blackpool Lass is one such book and easy to recommend.

Blog Tour and competition!

With thanks to Mary Wood for the invitation to be part of this blog tour, for which I was delighted to say ‘yes’, and to Sphere for a paperback copy of Blackpool Lass.

“Just to let you know that I am putting on a competition……., I will make up a random question to answer, or just ask for a comment. The prize will be a signed book.” Maggie Mason. Well now isn’t that fantastic? Follow her Facebook Page to get all the details. *Good luck folks!

So do check out the rest of this wonderful tour….


*Please note I am not responsible for this giveaway, this giveaway is the responsibility of the author.*


Publisher: Sphere (20 Sept. 2018)

Paperback: 432 pages    Language: English

ISBN-10: 0751573159

ISBN-13: 978-0751573152

Buy:            Amazon


C571EAFA-A9EC-4882-9412-94CFB1CE30AAMaggie Mason is a pseudonym of author Mary Wood.
Mary writes historical sagas for Pan Macmillan covering the late nineteenth century to mid-twentieth including both wars. She has 9  books in print and another – THE FORGOTTEN DAUGHTER is realeased in December.
Under her pen name of Maggie Mason, Mary writes regional sagas set in Blackpool, again covering the time period as above. She has her first THE BLACKPOOL LASS published this week – 20th September.
Mary lives in Blackpool and enjoys researching the history of her home town, coming up with some surprising facts and excited to uncover material for future books.
Born the 13th child of 15 children, Mary experienced life at the raw end. Though she says of her childhood that though poor they were happy and were rich in love.
Mary writes full time now having ended her 9 – 5 working life in the Probation service. This experience gave the grittiness she brings to her writing as Mary says she feels compelled to tell it how it is.
                      Mary’s Website   Mary on Facebook  Mary on Twitter     Mary’s Blog
Blackpool Lass is the first book in a planned series of standalone books and trilogies set in her home town of Blackpool published with Sphere.
Next to come with Sphere…




Guest Post: If I chance to talk a little wild – a memoir of self and other by Jane Haynes



Praise for If I chance to talk a little wild…
‘Brilliant, wise, quirky and compelling… To have such a great
understanding of life is one thing but to write about it with such
articulacy and elegance is something else altogether.’
Matt Lucas

‘This book is daring and fastidious. It has important and difficult
things to say about big issues like child sex abuse. It also has
wonderful things to say about being an individual held, observed,
encountered by a therapist.’
Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize.

The book blurb

This is the brutally honest, passionate and unorthodox sequel to the PEN Ackerley Prize shortlisted Who is it that can tell me who I am?

If I chance to talk a little wild vividly explores Jane’s early life and her fascinating career at the forefront of relational psychotherapy. Jane Haynes uses both personal and clinical experience to explore complex issues such as shame and sexual abuse. She also writes about her love of literature and the relationship between psychology and literature. Filled with literary references and discussion of Jane’s first great mentor, the legendary R. D. Laing. If I chance to talk a little wild gives important insight into the human psyche and will haunt, educate and surprise its readers.


Sadly, I was unable to offer a review of this fascinating sounding book but was delighted to be asked to host the first post of this tour and thrilled to be able to host a guest blog from Jane Haynes who explains why she wrote If I chance to talk a little wild – isn’t that just a great title?

The book covers important issues which people often, even today, have difficultly talking about.  It is important to support people to do so, to seek professional help when needed but also to understand something of what an individual may be experiencing in order to be genuine when offering support and help us realise when ‘just’ our support may not be enough. However, and I hope this doesn’t sound superficial, I think the connection that Jane has with literature was, for me, a strong factor of wanting to be a part of this. Well now, it’s time to hear from Jane Haynes……



I had no intention of writing another book. I had enough trouble the first time when I received so many letters of rejection I decided to self publish. To my surprise that book, ‘Who is it that can tell me who I am?’ was shortlisted for the Penn Memoir Prize, after which it was sold to Constable.

It didn’t occur to to me that I had anything more to say, although I did start and abandon a blog about my dog. I am besotted with my Hungarian pointer, Dido. There is a chapter named after her in this book: Dido’s Lament.’ It is not only about my dog, or Dido, the tragic Queen of Carthage. It has lots of other thoughts about abandonment, death and myth both of which the ancient Queen, if not my beast Dido, knew a great deal.

With the titles of both books being quotations from Shakespeare it requires no crossword clue to guess that the Bard has been an influence on my life and work as a psychotherapistShakespeare, poets and myth have influenced me more than ‘Professor’ Freud with whom I have many quarrels in this booknot least over his ignorance about the female psyche.

I digress, but my book is full of digressions. I find it hard to follow a straight line, particularly when life is full of unexpected bolts from the blue, one way and another. The trigger for this book happened after I had a flaming row with my daughter. We are good friends most of the time and directors of the same psychotherapy practice in Marylebone, but we have a volatile relationship. When I came home after the quarrel in March 2016, I announced to my husband, “I am angry enough to write another book.”  “Help!  He said. “You better call it, ‘Daughter Beware Daughters’.” I have saved that title for the next one!

Quartet Books Blog Tour

I was delighted to be invited by Grace at Quartet Books to be part of this blog tour and especially to be the opening blog, thank you. I hope you have enjoyed reading about why Jane Haynes wrote If I chance to talk a little wild and do check out the other stops to read more of this amazing book……




913B4F32-DBDB-4B8C-9743-FDCCDA9FC683Jane Haynes originally trained as a Jungian psychoanalyst but then
‘defected’ and now refers to herself as a relational psychotherapist.
In 2008 her book Who is it that can tell me who I am? (Little, Brown)
was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize for literary autobiography.
She lives, and practises, in London.

Building on Jane Haynes’s personal and clinical experience and with
extensive references borne of her love of literature (she devotes a
whole chapter, for example, to the impact of Proust on her
psychoanalytic thought) and with constant mention of her first great
mentor, the legendary R. D. Laing, If I chance to talk a little wild
will haunt, educate, surprise yet always fascinate its readers long
after the book has been read.

Jane has a significant and dedicated readership and her last book, Doctors Dissected (Quartet, 2015), sold through two editions.

The Blue Door Practice: About   Jane Haynes Blog (to 2015)   Podcast – BBC Start the Week with Andrew Marr: Hilary Mantel and Jane Haynes in conversation.


Publisher: Quartet Books

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