Tilbury Talks To… Amy May Smith

Welcome to my first post of 2020. Today I’m talking with Ami May Smith. Welcome Ami, please introduce yourself.

Hi, I am Ami from Reading Through The Pain. I am a chronic illnesses warrior and reading has helped me through my mental illness and chronic pain since I was a teenager, although I started reading much earlier. My reading buddy is my cat Shyla.


You can visit Ami’s blog by clicking on the above image.

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
To be honest I can’t remember. I have loved reading since I was a young girl, it’s always been my therapy. Before and After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and M.E\CFS, I could no longer do the hobbies I used to do I.e sewing, knitting, card-making etc. I used to have a sewing blog. I got back into reading and I saw that you could become a book blogger\book reviewer. So I thought Why not?

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Best: Meeting authors, meeting new authors, friendships, early access to books etc.
Worst: I don’t think there is a worse only those I put on myself. Getting overwhelmed,  losing my reading mojo.

How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
Virtually straight away or a couple days after once its settled and I’ve thought about it.

Have you met any fellow book bloggers in ‘real-life’ and what were they like?
Nope unfortunately but I don’t and cant travel very far from my little town due to my illnesses I.e bpd, anxiety, fibro etc. I would love to one day.

If you’ve not met any other book bloggers in ‘real-life’ yet, who would you like to meet and why?
Oh golly gosh there are so many I couldn’t name one or 100. But there are some amazing people I’ve met online. So I would say meet them all and because many of them of my people who also do blogging\reading due to chronic illness.

Have you met any of your favourite authors? Did the experience meet your expectations?
I’ve met Elly Griffiths, Sarah Ward, Stephen Booth and William Shaw. And yes definitely and more!

Think of the worst antagonist you’ve ‘met’ in a book. If you could dish out your own justice on behalf of their victims, who would it be and what would you do?
Ha-ha being a crime, true crime, serial killer fanatic I’m afraid what I would dish out would not be appropriate here or anywhere on the internet. But I think most of us have the same ideas some mild and some extreme.

In your opinion which book should everyone read at least once, and why?
I’m not into classics but a book that has stuck in my mind the most this year is The Puppet Show By M.W.Craven. Its frankly bloody EPIC!

Who are your 3 favourite authors and what makes them stand out?
You of course Mark, amazing books but a genuinely amazing person who has so much love and support for bloggers/Readers.
Ooo two more this is sooooo hard. But I would say Mel Comley and Emmy Ellis. Again as well as incredible authors they are the nicest women.
But honestly I have so many favourite authors which are exceptional so it’s so very hard to pinpoint them and think of reasons.

 

Thank you Ami for taking the time to answer my questions. I agree with you about The Puppet Show, it’s an excellent book.
You can find Ami across social media. Here on her Facebook page, and via her Twitter handle @RTTPBookBlog 

Thank you for continued support into the new year.

Best wishes,

Mark.

Tilbury Talks To… Sean Talbot

Today, Tilbury Talks To… Sean Talbot. Sean blogs over on Sean’s Book Reviews, and reads lots of genres but his favourites are fantasy, crime and thrillers. Thanks for visiting the blog today Sean.

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
Partially fear as this was an unknown item for me and I am not really a writer or a tech person. The other part was excitement over being able to share my love of books even if no-one read it but me.

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Best is the interaction I have had with people who are in the community like the authors and publishers and other book bloggers.
Worst is hard to say but it would probably be the feeling if self-doubt that comes when you create to many deadlines and if you can write the review well enough.

How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
I try as soon as possible as its fresh in my mind so I can write a better review about what I felt about the book.

Have you met any fellow book bloggers in ‘real life’ and what were they like?
No I haven’t met any other book bloggers face to face as most of those I know are from England and I am in Canada.

If you’ve not met any other book bloggers in ‘real life’ yet, who would you like to meet and why?
There are so many as I have nothing but good interactions with other bloggers. But here are a couple I would like to meet.
Noelle Holten. She is always the most inspirational and helpful blogger you could hope to meet.
Anne Cater, as her wealth of experience and the fact that she stands up for what she believes in and backs all of us bloggers up.

Have you met any of your favourite authors? Did the experience meet your expectations?
I have met only a couple of authors and one is a favourite of mine. Helena Katz who writes non-fiction I met and she did meet expectations as she is very fun and is always laughing.

If you could meet any author, alive or dead, and ask them one question, who would it be, and what would you ask them?
Honestly would love to meet Joel Rosenberg her write an amazing fantasy series and I would ask him where he got his unique idea from. He has the most unique fantasy books I have read where people from our world were transferred to one of fantasy where you have wizards and dragons.

Think of the worst antagonist you’ve ‘met’ in a book. If you could dish out your own justice on behalf of their victims, who would it be and what would you do?
Caroline Mitchell had one of the best villains called Bertram who used his powers to manipulate and kill. It had me reeling as I have studied wicca for years and you should never do harm. It made me so upset and I wanted to turn the tables on him and make him feel the pain and anguish of his victims. What would be done is something like a protective empath and force him to relive what he did to his victims but under their point of view. Death would be too good for this evil doer

Which book has had the most emotional impact on you? This can be any emotion – sadness, laughter, fear etc.
There are many but there is a number of them but I will say the series Mel Comley wrote, which was Hero Nelson books. I was intrigued by Hero and how she wrote him and she writes with such passion that you just can’t help but feel something. In one of the books she made me cry when something sad happened to the main character. I felt so invested in this character that it felt like at times what happened to Hero also was happening to me.

If you could transport yourself into one book and be part of the story, which would you choose?
That’s a hard one because there are many amazing books out there. I have even been named in a couple which was amazing to be some small part of a series. However I would say I would love to be transported to Mercedes Lackey and the Valdemar kingdom as part of the latest book about Mags which is The Hills Have Spies. I love the intricacy in the story and the characters and would love to have magic.

In your opinion which book should everyone read at least once, and why?
Shake Hands with the Devil by Lt General Romeo Dallaire. It is all about the genocide in Rwanda and what the Canadian commander was forced to witness. The reason people should read it is because I think it is something that all should know about especially as it isn’t something that many people hear about and how heroic these people were.

Who are your 3 favourite authors and what makes them stand out?
Mel Comley and she has some of the most amazing characters and deals with topics that many shy away from.
Mercedes Lackey she writes many fantasy novels with some of the best writing as well as a differing magic system that deals more with the mind then with arcane powers.
Eric Walters is the third author and even though I only have read one of his books it just struck a chord and though he is a young adult writer he tries to teach tolerance and understanding which is a wonderful trait to teach.

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Sean, and for your thoughtful answers. Although I’ve not read Mel’s ‘Hero’ series, I agree with you about how she tackles topics in her books that many other authors wouldn’t.

Sean can be followed across social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seansbookreviews/.
Twitter: @seantalbot1977.
Instagram: @zyrell77.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

Review of Tanners Dell by Sarah England.

My current work in progress is a step away from the Ben Whittle series. It’s a supernatural thriller written in the first person. I’ve been reading more of the same genre recently, and Tanners Dell by Sarah England stands out from the crowd.

Tanner's DellBook Description:
A Darkly Disturbing Occult Horror Novel.
Following the hypnosis of violently disturbed psychiatric patient, Ruby Dean, an unholy dark force was unleashed on the medical staff who tried to help her. Now only one of the original team remains – Ward Sister, Becky.
Despite her fiancé, D.I. Ross, being unconscious and many of her colleagues either dead or critically ill, Becky is determined to rescue Ruby’s twelve year old daughter from a similar fate to her mother. But no one asking questions in the desolate mining village Ruby descends from ever comes to a good end. And as the diabolical history of the area is gradually revealed, it seems the evil invoked is now both real and contagious. Don’t turn the lights out yet!

Extract:
At that moment a cloud floated across the surface of the moon and he looked up. Was there ever such a haunting sight? A breeze sighed into the back of his neck and a flurry of leaves rustled around the porch door.
He frowned, his attention was suddenly drawn to a line of yews at the far end of the graveyard. Was there someone there or was it his imagination? A lit cigarette? A spark of red? He narrowed his eyes, peering harder into the gloom. No, it was just his wild imagination. He blinked and shook his head. He was spooked, that was all – how silly – imagining a dark shape standing there; a man in a long black coat with a black dog on a chain, the dog with red eyes. How silly. How very Rosemary’s Baby. . .Those films – The Exorcist and The Omen – they’d scared him witless as a boy and they scared him witless now. Continue reading

Book review of Exclusion Zone by J. M Hewitt

Exclusion ZoneBook Description:

On 26th April 1986, reactor four exploded at the factory in Pripyat, Chernobyl.

At the same time teenager Afia Bello vanished from her home without a trace. The damage from the nuclear fallout is examined over the following weeks, months and years by Afia’s younger sister Sissy, as she unwittingly uncovers clues relating to her sister’s disappearance, and the secret life that Afia kept hidden from her family. In the summer of 2015 Private Detective Alex Harvey is hired to investigate the disappearances that have been occurring within the exclusion zone. He can think of only one person to bring along with him to help; Ukrainian national Elian Gould. Elian – who was adopted at birth – has her own reasons for accepting the job; namely to search for her own family history which has always been a mystery to her. But the remaining citizens of Chernobyl are hiding their own secrets and with a darker force at work, the missing person’s case suddenly turns into something much more serious.

Exclusion Zone is a gripping thriller that will keep readers hooked to the last page.

Extract:
A man clutching a shirt to his face rushes past and I reach out and grab him.
“What has happened?” I ask
He slows to a stop and sags against me. I push him upright and he teeters for a moment before dropping to his knees. The shirt falls to the ground and I stare at his blooded face. I pick up his shirt and press it into his hands, silently willing him to cover up the macabre mask that used to be his face. He flaps the material at me and I lurch away from the drops of blood. He tries to get up, stumbles back to the ground and crawls away from me.
As I walk onwards I see more men like him. They line the road, dazed and bleeding. The closer I get to the building the worse off they seem. At the gate to the factory there is a man sitting in the road. He claws at his face, his mouth stretched in a silent scream. He does not see me approach as he is too busy trying to hold the skin onto his face. Muscle, skin and bloody tissue slips through his fingers.
I am aware that my balance has gone, I am light headed and I drop to my knees and pull myself backwards away from the gate. Now I am too dazed, just like the men who litter the road around me.
Last year, I thought what I witnessed between Afia and Niko was the worst thing I could ever see. Now I know I was wrong. That carnal act, although brutal and violating was life. This, what I see before now, this is death. Continue reading