#Review By Lou of – The Ugly Truth By L.C. North @Lauren_C_North @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #Thriller #Blogtour #TheUglyTruth #Bookrecommendation

The Ugly Truth
By L.C. North

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am pleased to be on the blog tour with a review for highly modern story – The Ugly Truth. Discover the blurb and review below.


Melanie Lange has disappeared.

Her father, Sir Peter Lange, says she is a danger to herself and has been admitted to a private mental health clinic.

Her ex-husband, Finn, and best friend, Nell, say she has been kidnapped.

The media will say whichever gets them the most views.

But whose side are you on?

Told via interviews, transcripts and diary entries, The Ugly Truth is a shocking and addictive thriller about fame, power and the truth behind the headlines.


The Ugly Truth is like a story of our times. It’s a work of fiction but it has a feel of a mix of watching a true crime documentary as it has an interview format to it and then looking at Twitter and following other people’s accounts of the story and going back to the interview style. Once your eye is in the format, which, for me happened fairly quickly, it becomes a compulsive read as all is interwoven impressively well to create the story of the disappearance of Melanie Lange.

It is a cautionary tale of our times about social media and the impact when certain stories implode all within a thriller that is a compelling read in all its formats of telling this story of Melanie Lange and everyone who feeds into it, from her controlling dad, her envious sister, her husband who betrayed her. Is fame also all it is cut out to be?

Discover the truth about what happened, is everyone telling you the true story, is everyone reliable and work out what camp you are in – #SaveMelanie or #HelpPeter in this compulsive, slick, highly modern thriller that has a lot to uncover.

Thanks to Random T. Tours and Transworld Books for inviting me to review and a proof copy to review from.

About the Author

L.C. North is the pen name of Lauren North. She studied psychology at university before pursuing a career in Public Relations. Her first book club thriller – The Ugly Truth – combines her love of psychology and her fascination with the celebrities in the public eye. She is currently working on her second novel, and when she’s not writing, she co-hosts the crime thriller podcast, In Suspense.

L.C. North lives on the Suffolk borders with her family.

Follow her on Twitter @Lauren_C_North

Find her on Facebook @LaurenNorthAuthor


#Review of Force of Hate By Graham Bartlett @gbpoliceadvisor @AllisonandBusby #BlogTour

Force of Hate
By Graham Bartlett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Force of Hate is an excellent, timely crime fiction book you don’t want to miss! I am delighted and excited to be on the blog tour, organised by the publisher – Allison and Busby. Check out more in the blurb and my review below.


When a firebomb attack at a Brighton travellers’ site kills women and children, Chief Superintendent Jo Howe has strong reason to believe the new, dubiously elected, far-right council leader is behind the murders.

Against the direct orders of her chief constable, Jo digs deeper into the killings. She uncovers a criminal ring of human trafficking and euthanasia all leading to a devastating plot which threatens thousands of lives and from which the murderous politician looks sure to walk away scot-free.


Force of hate is a searingly compelling portrayal of the darker sides of life. Superintendent Jo Howe has her work cut out what becomes increasingly twisted crimes that she reckons all points to the far right. It is twisty with euthanasia and human-trafficking amongst the crimes.  

The tension tightly builds as you read more in what is a fast-paced read. It’s easy to get hooked into pretty quickly, even with some of the darkest of subject matters. I think it is great, however, that human-trafficking is portrayed in books. It keeps such an important matter highlighted. The book truly shows the extremities of behaviours and ideals, as well as creating a meaty story with lots for the police to get stuck into.

Amongst all the crimes, Graham Bartlett allows the readers to get to know the characters he writes, such as what they do, their personalities, their banter and so forth. It’s a team that’s well-written and for readers to feel involved in.

Graham Bartlett has served in the police force for many years and now writing novels as authentic as they get as a result of his years of knowledge and experience. It’s an important story he tells in a highly engaging, plausible manner.

Thanks to the publisher Allison and Busby for inviting me onto the blog tour and for the book to review from, as well as a copy of Bad for Good (which I will also review). that all arrived packaged up in a police bag.

About the Author

Graham Bartlett rose to become chief superintendent and the divisional commander of Brighton and Hove police. His first non-fiction book Death Comes Knocking was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, which he then followed with Babes in the Wood. He co-wrote these books with bestselling author, Peter James. Bartlett is also a police procedural and crime advisor helping scores of authors and TV writers inject authenticity into their work.



#Review By Lou of Fire In the Mountain By AJ Aberford @AJAberford @HobeckBooks #DetectiveGeorgeZammit

Fire In The Mountain
By AJ Aberford

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fire in the Mountain is another terrifically gripping book published by Hobeck Books, who invited me onto the blog tour to give a review in-exchange of a book.



A colleague in need
Superintendent George Zammit is persuaded to go to Sicily to investigate the disappearance of his superior’s niece.
There, George discovers a city overshadowed by the mighty Mount Etna, a huge volcano perilously close to a major eruption that would have disastrous consequences around the world.

The magic of volcano
George finds the volcano not only provides unlimited energy, but has long been worshipped by an ancient and mysterious cult, which believes it has the power of renewal and rebirth. Strange priests and monks wander the volcano’s flanks and the old volcanic tunnels, risking the wrath of Mother Etna to keep its secrets safe.

Unlimited power, unlimited wealth
The dark forces of organised crime have captured the green energy of the volcano and grown rich on the profits. Others have noticed this deep source of wealth and they gather to plot and scheme to take a share of their own. Rival organisations play their cards, leaving George trapped between the warring factions.

George enters a world beyond his control 
In his quest to find the missing girl, George, and his unlikely allies, find themselves caught between the forces of nature, superstition and organised crime. It is time for a hero to step forward and risk all to take on all these competing threats. Can it be George? And how does he learn an important lesson about trust and loss?


Fire in the Mountain is action-packed with the strange forces and energy of a volcano, family, mafia and fracking. George Zammit has his work cut out between the corruption and dark forces of Sicily and Malta. The juxtaposition of wonderful picture postcard scenery and food and the darker sides of the islands creates an explosive, gripping story.

Assistant Commissioner Gerald Camilleri‘s niece has gone missing, whilst out protesting against fracking. AJ Aberford brings politics, nature, family, power and policing very well together in what is a gripping, well-researched, tightly written crime book with superstition, cultish behaviours and crime. It’s quite the unexpected page-turner, after a slow-burn that will sweep the reader into the darker-side of life and will throw any misconceptions of the islands of everything being just right, deep in the water.

Fire In The Mountain is part of a series, but it is also, in terms of the crime, complete in itself, so works very well as a standalone novel.

#GuestPost By Richard Cobourne for his book – Red Light And Bell @RichardCobourne @CameronPMtweets @RandomTTours #RedLightAndBell

Red Light And Bell
By Richard Cobourne 


Today I have a guest post , thanks to Richard Cobourne and Random T. Tours, you now have a chance to find out a little about Red Light and Bell, the second in the showbiz thriller trilogy. A trilogy that sounds so intriguing, even the blurb is mysterious as the cover and title. Discover the blurb and then read what he has to say as well as to how to order his books. It’s certainly fascinating and enlightening guest post. So, please join me, whilst I welcome Richard Cobourne to my blog. Thank you!


Real people, real events, real organisations, and real places are frequently mentioned in this trilogy – there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing, they are there solely to add authenticity and context, nothing more. You may like to think that this is entirely a work of fiction – but that’s up to you…

Richard Cobourne says:

Not many careers begin by taking the advice from a Christmas Cracker:
“Write from what you know.”

Who would have thought my next-door neighbour, when I was aged just sixteen, would provide the knowledge to write this showbiz trilogy? Dick Bennet was Head of Sound at HTV — Wales’s independent TV channel. In 1973 he knocked on our door at the start of the school summer holidays where we lived in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. ‘We’re a bit short of people on the studio floor. Do you reckon you can push the Fisher Boom around?’  

‘Err, what’s a Fisher Boom?’

‘It’s like a tricycle with a long arm and a microphone on the end.’

‘Okay,’ Said I.

‘We leave in fifteen minutes,’ said Dick.

And so, it began — many years working behind and in front of the cameras and microphones all over the world. I thought I was going to join the army — but those thoughts soon disappeared as I was dazzled by the lure of showbusiness.

That first day was captivating on the studio floor — as I learned to call it. HTV were producing a mini-series entitled, ‘The Inheritors’ starring among others Peter Egan, Robert Urquhart, Charles Dance, Bill Maynard, and Philip Madoc. Great actors, then young, all who went on to carve out illustrious careers.

To see and work with true professionals close-up was a thrill. To be able to speak with them was more than I could have imagined. Before long the smell of the grease paint had well and truly entered my blood.

For the next few years, I continued to freelance at HTV every moment I could — school holidays and weekends were filled with exhilarating experiences. But soon, too soon, I had completed my A-levels in Music, Maths and Physics and had to consider my future. I asked if there was a full-time job at HTV. I was told I would be better off at the BBC because, in those days, they offered proper training.

Naively one Friday afternoon I bounded up the steps of BBC Broadcasting House in Cardiff and asked for a job. Ten minutes later I was in front of Graham Walters, Head of Personnel. An hour later I had completed the application form to be told I had an interview the following Monday for the post of Trainee Audio Assistant. The interview went well for two reasons — firstly I go the job. Secondly, I met my future father-in-law. A month later I was on my way to the BBC’s Training Centre at Wood Norton, near Evesham, for what most considered to be the best broadcast training in the world.

News, current affairs, drama, thrillers, comedy, documentaries, sport, big music shows, huge orchestras, live events on radio and TV all over the UK and abroad followed — Terry and June; Charles’s and Diana’s wedding (Philip Schofield then worked in OB stores!); The Pope’s Visit; Elaine Paige; Val Doonican; more live major sporting events that I could possibly remember; The Old Grey Whistle Test; many years of Radio One Roadshows with Noel Edmonds, DLT, Tony Blackburn, Peter Powell, Simon Bates (who passed out on me upside down on a fairground ride), Mike Reid, Bruno Brooks, Simon Mayo, Steve Wright; the jungles of central Africa (close up with the silver back gorillas); drug cartels in Colombia; and three BAFTA nominations (but never won!).

Life was amazing making many good friends whom I still see today. But by the end of the nineteen eighties the BBC was changing, and I saw the metaphorical writing on the wall. I resigned.

After a short hiatus I formed my own production company. Somehow, we became successful working with some wonderful clients and with some well-known names — many pictures adorn the walls of my sh’office. Including Joanna Lumley; Toyah; Leslie Ash; Nigel Havers; Little and Large; Simon Bates; Tim Spall; Jeremy Northam (now a Hollywood star).

I continued to travel the world, one year racking up 91 flights — not sure that is something of which I should be proud? Some ridiculous travel such as a day trip to Cape Town, a day in Rio de Janeiro, with several to New York. I worked in virtually every European city. I have eaten in top restaurants, been in the swankiest of clubs, stayed at magnificent hotels and suffered in some very dubious locations. Along the way we won dozens and dozens of awards.

So, what you might say?

All the travel, stress and long hours took their toll. I have spent most of my career writing, producing, and directing; enthusing, educating, informing, and motivating various audiences but with a client and a defined purpose. I attempted to start writing a novel several times — but paying work interfered and they were soon shelved. I wanted — needed — to unlock the personal creative juices to do my own thing. So, I sold the business to enable me to write, to fulfil my ambition. Writing a novel is not a part-time job as many have found out.

Using the contacts made over the years, ‘celebrities’ and friends augmented my own knowledge — I have been back-stage with Access All Areas passes to many events including major sporting competitions, massive gigs, festivals, and intimate invitation-only special occasions — all helped me with deep background to ensure the tittle-tattle of real-life show-business, the law, parliament, and other aspects are accurately portrayed. The list of helpers is long, it includes: Spice Girl, Melanie Chisholm; broadcaster and voice-artist, Alan Dedicoat; Professor Kevin Doolan (Harvard); former BBC political correspondent Robert Orchard; a senior judge who specialises in trafficking, smuggling and slavery; former Sky News producer and war reporter Nick Purnell; The Rt Hon David TC Davies, MP for Monmouth, and Secretary of State for Wales; plus others who cannot or do not wish to be named, without whom etc…!

Going back to that Christmas Cracker: “Write from what you know.”

That’s what I have done.

‘Bandwagon’, the first in the trilogy, and now ‘Red Light and Bell’, the second, reflect some of my experiences (the finale of the trilogy, ‘End Turn’ is underway).

Yes, they are works of fiction — but the foundations are firmly entrenched in the real world, or as real as showbiz is or can be? Please enjoy for what they are…

*The title ‘Red Light and Bell’ is a filming term. A red light is illuminated, and a long bell sounded once before ‘going for a take.’ When the scene is completed, the red light is switched off and two short bells sounded. But in this novel it has another meaning…

For more details of how to order see: www.cobourne.com


About the Author

Richard Cobourne writes with a production background in the broadcast, corporate, music and global events and communications industries. He has worked in the business-ofshow all over the world for many years and as a result has a deep understanding of the shenanigans of the industry.


He began his career working for the BBC, initially in the sound department of radio,

TV, and outside broadcasts. After fifteen years he left to co-found On Screen Productions Ltd,
which he sold in 2015 to pursue a career as a freelance consultant creative producer, occasional voice artist, and to enable him to write fulltime. He is a member of The Ivy Club, BAFTA and the National Liberal Club.


This is the second novel in the showbiz thriller trilogy. The third, maybe final (who knows?),
is in progress.
Richard Cobourne lives with his wife on the Welsh side of the Wye Valley and in Fuerteventura.
Bandwagon (the first Danny and Daisy showbiz thriller)
The History of Castration
The History of Diabetes
The History of Contraception
The CardioProtective Effect of Wine

#AuthorInterview By Lou with Viv Fogel – #Author of Imperfect Beginnings @fly_press @VivWynant @kenyon_isabelle #Poetry #WritingCommunity #ReadingCommunity #BlogTour #ImperfectBeginnings

Today I am delighted to present to you my interview/Q&A session with author of Imperfect Beginnings – Viv Fogel. First, many thanks to Viv for agreeing to the interview/Q&A session on my blog and to Fly on the Wall Press for inviting me onto the blog tour.
Viv’s poems are evocative showing war, peace, family and are set in present times and past times. In my blog post today, discover the blurb and then what she has to say as she talks fascinatingly of her inspiration, a particular photo of artwork that features within the book, the importance of poetry, it’s shape and more, as well as where you can purchase the book.
Without further ado, let’s welcome Viv Fogel…

Imperfect Beginnings lays its poems out to rest on uncertain terrain. Visa paperwork deadlines hang in the air. New-borns, torn too early from their mother’s breast, learn to adapt to harsh guardianship.

Belonging and exile are mirrored in the stories of having to leave one’s birthmother―or motherland.

From narrative poems such as ‘My Father Sold Cigarettes To The Nazis’, Fogel takes us on a journey throughout history, spanning ancestry, wartime, adoption and peacetime, as life settles. Family, work, love and the natural world provide purpose, meaning and a sense of coming ‘home’.

  1. What or who inspired you to be a poet and how did this influence your own poetic style? 

    I started off writing and illustrating short stories – to create worlds and characters I could escape into, but then a cousin, (an English student) gave me my first book of illustrated poetry when I was about 16. I didn’t understand them all – but the musicality of the words, the rhythm and the form of the poems, their vibrancy excited me. Here was another kind of language and sound to the rather dreary way we studied poetry at school. (Soon after, aged 16, my first poem was published in Peace News). A year or so later a conversation with a ‘bohemian’ stranger on a plane to Paris, got me interested in ‘kinetic’ poetry, Corso, Ginsberg and the Beat Poets. Aged 18 it was the Liverpool Poets and the lyrics of Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell and later Ralph McTell. Music and poetry are inextricably linked for me.

2. The poems that seem to be set in modern times and then goes into the second world war, before returning to modern times, what inspired you to write it in this pattern for the arc of your storytelling, within your chosen themes? 

An interesting question: themes are not linear or chronological – patterns reoccur and weave in and out, back and forth. And I did have another way of ordering the sequences and sections in the collection, but because of time constraints, this is how it shaped itself.

 3. You have a photo of the Memorial installation ‘Shalekhet’ : fallen leaves at the Jewish Museum, Berlin and a poem beside it. How did you approach writing a poem that reflects the poignancy of the art installation? 

It took me completely by surprise – that’s how powerful the installation was for me. People were encouraged to walk over the floor of metallic mask- like faces – the ‘fallen leaves’ , – and I just could not bring myself to do that. Instead I sat and listened to them clanking, and the clattering sounds and echoes evoked deeply embodied ‘memories’ and images … 

 4. You mention certain people under the titles of some of the poetry, such as Itzaak Weinreich, 1903-1988, Your birth mother – Jennie and also your mother – Henriette and relatives you never met, what emotions did this evoke in you and did it affect how you wrote and what you wrote in those particular poems? 

Strangely no. Obviously there had been processed emotions long before I wrote the poems – but in order to write effectively I need to be able to dis-identify, and step back from those feelings in order to ‘see’ the bigger picture. Thomas Mann spoke about this in his novel Tonio Kröger – how if we are too emmeshed or lost in the emotions we cannot gain the perspective needed for the writing to be truly effective. But yes – there’s a history and a foundation of feeling-responses that inform these poems.

 5. Your poems are sometimes a sombre silence and sometimes noise and movements, even within the placement of the sentences, not always being linear in every poem, was this a conscious decision? 

Yes! The way a poem looks on the page, the spacing, lineation, even the punctuation is deliberate, which dictates the pace and tone of the reading, rather like musical notation. Obviously a poem written on A4 looks different when printed in a book-sized page.  

 6. How important and relevant is reading poetry in today’s society? 

Very! Poetry says things that cannot be said in any other way. It’s immediate and names what cannot always be named with prose or in journalism. The term ‘poetic licence’ exists for a reason. Poetry may not change the world, its politics or politicians – but it can sustain and give hope. Try reading at least one poem a day – to find that space and nourishment!

7. What do you hope readers will gain from your poetry and where can people purchase your book? 

I hope readers will be moved in some way by the poetry … if one poem touches one person or resonates – with empathy, or joy, or inspires them to write themselves, or to find their voice, that’s a wonderful benefit. And I really would like my poetry to be accessible to those who are not just poets and would not normally choose to read poetry.

You can purchase the book directly from Fly on the Wall Press online – or better still- order from your local book store, or even your library. And I would welcome any reviews on Goodreads, Waterstones or Amazon.

Many thanks Lou for asking me onto your blog.

To pre-order please go to: https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/imperfect-beginnings-by-viv-fogel

#Review By Lou of The Daughter-In-Law by Fanny Blake @FannyBlake1 @BookminxSJV @simonschusterUK #TeamBATC #BlogTour #RespectRomFic #ContemporaryFiction

The Daughter-In-Law
By Fanny Blake

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Daughter In-Law is a multi-generational contemporary, romantic fiction story with twists and turns that makes it irresistible to sit for that bit longer to keep reading. Thanks to Books In The City – Simon and Schuster UK for inviting me onto the blog tour. Discover the blurb and my full review below…


When Hope’s only son Paul met and married Edie, Hope was delighted that he had found love and was settling down to make his own family. Hope has loved bringing up her own child, and is happy to step in and help out now and again – but is always worried about overstepping the line between grandmother and mother.
Edie was hoping that having children with Paul would fulfil her as much as her busy job as a barrister has. But the reality is far from her dream. And with her mother-in-law Hope constantly poking her nose in where it’s not wanted, she finds herself frustrated and alone.
Both women could be each other’s greatest ally, but both have secrets that could ruin their relationship. Secrets neither wants Paul to uncover…

It’s a multi-generational story as gran – Hope and her son – Paul and his wife – Edie and their very young family touch down in the Greek Island – Paxos. The family dynamics makes for great reading. Paul is a carpenter and Edie is a barrister, he gets on with his mother – Hope, whereas things are more difficult with hers. Edie isn’t Hope’s biggest fan and the feeling is definitely mutual and more from Edie. Paul on the other-hand has a more amenable attitude when it comes to his mother, then there’s the grandkids, who adore her, and she adores them.

The dynamic between high-powered job and being a mother is interesting within Edie. She’s a character who seems nothing and no one is quite good enough or exciting enough, especially in her home life, even though it is a pretty good one. She has her frustrations, she wants “her cake and eat it”, which in turn will either have readers frustrated at her (in a good way, it has a certain edge), or rooting for her is always after more and when Daniel, her ex is on the scene, secrets develop…
Hope herself is also at a stage of life, deciding what she wants and the book becomes a bit philosophical at certain points as she ponders many things that possibly crosses many people’s minds, such as what happiness is, where it comes from, her family and whether she is toeing the line or overstepping it. Hope, beyond that is also, in quite a turn of events, is also harbouring a huge secret. What the secret is, is quite unexpected as the book twists and turns and family life is even more complex than it first appeared.

The family sits on a knife-edge as readers become privy to what the secrets are, that can make or break the family. Each revelation increases how compelling it is to read.