Book Review: Monkey Arkwright (Wardens of the Black Heart 1) by Rob Campbell

Book Description:
Budding writer Lorna Bryson is struggling to come to terms with the recent death of her father when she meets Monkey Arkwright, the boy who loves to climb. The two strike up an immediate rapport, and Monkey challenges her to write about him, claiming that he can show her things that are worth writing about.

True to his word, Lorna is catapulted into Monkey’s world of climbing and other adventures in the churches, woodlands and abandoned places in and around their home town of Culverton Beck. When the two teenagers find an ancient coin in the woods, claims from potential owners soon flood in, including the mysterious Charles Gooch, who is adamant that the coin is his. But this is only the opening act in a much larger mystery that has its roots in some dark deeds that took place more than a century earlier.

Combining their talents, Lorna and Monkey set about fitting the pieces together in a tale of budding friendship, train-obsessed simpletons, the shadow of Napoleon and falling pianos.

 

My Review:
This is a tale of mystery and suspense. One where you have to find clues alongside the characters. There were times when I wondered where the story was going, and what some character’s motivations were, but all questions were answered.

I enjoyed the supernatural elements to the story. There are no ghosts, vampires etc, but the story does make you question your opinions on luck, faith and why things happen the way they do. One character, Charles Gooch, makes you feel uneasy and wary of his intentions, with his ability to be in the right place at the right time. And what is the darkness in his briefcase?

Some of the description used I really liked. For example, ‘But autumn’s grasp had shaken the trees bare, and winter’s broom had swept away the last few leaves. It seemed that the seasons changed everything except for the graves and their permanent residents.’

Although described as a YA read on Amazon, this book has a wider appeal and would be enjoyed by anyone who likes a well told mystery with a supernatural twist. A great first part to a trilogy.

 

About the author:
Rob Campbell was born in the blue half of Manchester.

He studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Manchester Polytechnic, gaining an honours degree, but the fact that he got a U in his Chemistry O-Level helps to keep him grounded.
Having had a belly full of capacitors and banana plugs, on graduation he transferred his skills to software engineering. He still writes code by day, but now he writes novels by night.

Listing his pastimes in no particular order, he loves music, reading and holidays, but he is partial to the words and music of Bruce Springsteen.

His favourite authors are David Morrell, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch & Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

He lives in Manchester with his wife and two daughters.

Rob’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rob-Campbell/e/B07K5JM84G/.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

Tilbury Talks To… Kerry Ann Parsons

Today, Tilbury Talks To… Kerry Ann Parsons. Firstly, thank you for agreeing to take part today Kerry. Would you let everyone know a little about yourself?

Hi Mark and thanks for having me.
I’m 40 years old. I’ve been married to Steve for 16 years, together for 19! We had our babies first and have a son who recently turned 18 and a 16 year old daughter. I also have a step-son who is 22. I have been a full-time Mum and housewife since 2000, but also our church treasurer since July 2014. I have been job hunting for a little while, now the children are less dependent on me. Needless to say my favourite hobby is reading but I also love spending quality time with family and friends, walking, cooking/baking, TV, cinema, theatre and eating out. I blog at chataboutbooks.wordpress.com

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
What on earth am I thinking….. Who is going to want to read my ramblings….. We’ll see how it goes, what’s the worst that can happen!?

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Apart from all of the wonderful books I might never have come across otherwise, the best thing for me about being a book blogger is all of the awesome people I have been lucky enough to meet, both online and in person.
The worst thing is not having the time to read all of the books all of the time. Continue reading

The Key to Death’s Door Blog Tour Thanks!

Last week The Key to Death’s Door was published and a 6 day blog tour took place. I want to say a BIG thank you to all the fantastic bloggers who gave their time to write and share reviews about the book. Also, thanks go to everyone else who helped spread the word about the tour across social media. It was much appreciated.

Below is a list of the bloggers who took part in the tour with links to their reviews. Please take some time to have a look around their great blogs. Their reviews may lead you to discovering new books and authors.

Amy Sullivan @ Novel Gossip.
Read Amy’s review here. And you can read Amy’s Saturday Shoutout interview with me here too.

Eva Merckx @ Novel Deelights.
Find Eva’s review here.

Sean Talbot @ Sean’s Book Reviews.
Read Sean’s review here.

Gemma Myers @ Between the Pages Book Club.
Find Gemma’s review here.

Sarah Hardy @ By the Letter Book Reviews.
Read Sarah’s review here.

Sassy Brit @ Alternative Reads
Find Sassy’s review here.

Karen Cole @ Hair Past a Freckle
Read Karen’s review here.

Lorna (LJ) @ On the Shelf Reviews
Find Lorna’s review here.

Simon Leonard @ Black Books
Read Simon’s review here.

Sharon Bairden @ Chapter in my Life
Find Sharon’s review here.

Caroline Vincent @ Bits about Books
Read Caroline’s review here.

Jessica Bronder @ JBronder Book Reviews
Find Jessica’s review here.

Diane Hogg @ Sweet Little Book Blog
Read Diane’s review here.

Steve Robb @ Bookie Wookie
Find Steve’s review here.

Jill Burkinshaw @ Books ‘n’ All
Read Jill’s review here.

Mark Wilson @ Mark Wilson Books
Find Mark’s review here.

Bev Eaves @ Reading for Pleasure
Read the first chapter of The Key to Death’s Door here.

Philomena Callen @ Cheekypea Reads
Find Philomena’s review here.

Abby Slater-Fairbrother @ Anne Bonny Book Reviews
Read Abby’s review here.

Chelle Baker @ Chelle’s Book Reviews
Find Chelle’s review here.

Heather Anne Osborne @ Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Read Heather’s review here.

Neats Wilson @ The Haphazardous Hippo
Find Neat’s review here.

Donna Maguire @ Donna’s Book Blog
Read Donna’s review here.

Kerry Ann Parsons @ Chat About Books
Find Kerry’s review here.

 

If any of the above reviews have made you think you’d like to read The Key to Death’s Door, you can find the book here on Amazon.

As always, thank you for you continued support.

Best wishes.

Mark.

 

 

Book Review. The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by Anne R. Allen

Having been a fan of Anne R. Allen’s blog for some time now, I was very pleased to discover she’d complied a book to assist all author bloggers. I’ll start off by saying that it’s a must read which I highly recommend. But, before my review, here’s some information about it:

Book Description:

An easy-does-it guide to simple, low-tech blogging for authors who want to build a platform, but not let it take over their lives.

An author blog doesn’t have to follow the rules that monetized business blogs do. This book teaches the secrets that made Anne R. Allen a multi-award-winning blogger and one of the top author-bloggers in the industry.

And you’ll learn why having a successful author blog is easier than you think.

Here are some things you’ll learn in this book:

•How an author blog is different—and easier to maintain—than a business blog
•What authors should blog about at different stages of their careers
•Choosing the right blog topics for your genre and audience
•How one type of blogpost can build your platform quickly
•Basic SEO tips that don’t make your eyes glaze over with tech jargon
•How to write headers that will grab the attention of Web surfers
•How to keep your audience by learning the tricks of content writing
•Essential blog and social media etiquette rules
•What happens to your blog when you die?

“Anne writes the essential blog for today’s writers.” Mystery author Carmen Amato.

“I love following the blog of Anne R. Allen…for up-to-date tips and helpful articles for writers on what’s current in the publishing world.” Author D. G. Kaye.

“BRILLIANT! One of the Top 10 Resources for Self-Publishing Authors.” author Mark Tilbury.

“Anne is one of the most successful author-bloggers out there.” Reedsy

“One of the Top 15 Blogs for Indie Authors to Follow…I adore Anne’s blog. Aside from being one smart lady, her mix of sass and education is priceless.” Social media strategist and manager Frances Caballo

“You know what a huge fan I am of Anne R. Allen’s blog…absolutely marvelous.” Romance author Collette Cameron

“I recommend following the publishing blogs of both Jane Friedman and Anne R. Allen…I’ve implemented many of their tips, which have helped boost my SEO.” New York Times bestseller Eileen Goudge in Publisher’s Weekly

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by Anne R. Allen on UK Amazon

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by Anne R. Allen on US Amazon

 

My Review:

This book is a must-read for all authors who blog. Any author who is trying to balance their blogging with their WIP (work in progress) needs to read Anne’s advice within these pages. How author blogs are different to business blogs and why slow-blogging is actually the best kind for authors, are just a couple of the many topics covered.

I’m already a massive fan of Anne’s blog, and this book is written in the same humourous, yet highly informative style as her blog posts. Sharing her own blogging successes and mistakes, she explains how and why things need to be done in certain ways.  Anne makes the whole blogging process seem accessible to everyone, no matter what you’re working on or your level of technical expertise.

I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, and there are certainly things I need to improve on, but with the help of this book it seems so much more do-able.

If you’re a fellow author with a blog, then I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of this book, and see where your blog can take you.

 

About Anne:

Anne R. Allen is the author of the Camilla Randall mysteries, three stand-alone comedies, and two nonfiction guides for writers: “HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE” co-authored with Amazon #1 bestselling author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and THE AUTHOR BLOG: EASY BLOGGING FOR BUSY AUTHORS.

The Camilla Randall mysteries include THE BEST REVENGE, GHOSTWRITERS IN THE SKY, SHERWOOD, LTD. NO PLACE LIKE HOME, SO MUCH FOR BUCKINGHAM, and THE QUEEN OF STAVES. The first three are available as a boxed set. The stand-alones are THE GATSBY GAME, THE LADY OF THE LAKEWOOD DINER, and FOOD OF LOVE.

The three stand-alones are available in one boxed set: BOOMER WOMEN: THREE COMEDIES ABOUT A GENERATION THAT CHANGED THE WORLD. Anne also has a collection of poetry and short fiction titled WHY GRANDMA BOUGHT THAT CAR.

All of her books are currently published by Kotu Beach Press.

Anne’s blog, which she shares with New York Times bestseller Ruth Harris, was named one of the Best 101 Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest.

Anne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and spent twenty-five years in the theater–acting and directing–before taking up fiction writing. She is the former artistic director of the Patio Playhouse in Escondido, CA and now lives on the Central Coast of California.

 

Anne on social media:

Blog: https://annerallen.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerallen1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annerallen

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AnneRAllen

 

I hope you find both Anne’s blog and book as useful as I have.

As always, thank you for your support.

All the best,

Mark.