What I Did Not Say by B.A. Spicer #Drama @BevSpicer1 #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

  • 28455186Author: B.A. Spicer
  • Published: August 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Drama, Contemporary Fiction
  • four-half-stars

Jessica Morley is on her way to meet with a man she hasn’t seen for fifteen years. In her bag there is a package she must deliver. As she travels south, she remembers Jack Banford, a boy who captured her imagination as a child and made her believe in a future that could never happen. Now it is time for her to set the record straight and finally put the past behind her. ‘What I Did Not Say’ is a story of loyalty, cruelty and love at all costs.

Divided into three parts, What I Did Not Say is a complex, dramatic story of emotional turmoil and friendships told from the perspectives of several characters, so each interpretation and understanding of events differs according to personal viewpoints. Part one is the longest section beginning with Jess looking back on her close friendship with Jack Banford and giving an indication of some serious happening in the past. 

Each chapter, told from the point of view of a specific individual sets up the connections between the characters. Pre teens Jess and Jack have been best friends since starting school and spend most of their leisure time together, although they don’t share innermost thoughts and feelings. Jess is overweight and insecure in herself, Jack, loving his mother, Vera, coping as well as he can with her illness and the fluctuating hope and foreboding. Melissa, the social worker whose attention was brought to the situation by an anonymous call from a neighbour. And Terry Pickup, an old and dear friend of Vera’s recently come back into her life, who also befriended Jack.

I drove slowly, weighing up the situation. Jack Banford. What a curious child. And I had met a few. Living on the Clees Hill estate with a mother who was practically an invalid, and yet doing a good enough job of holding everything together. No problems at school. He wasn’t a genius or anything, but he was keeping up. At home, he could look after himself and his mother well enough, and had a strong friendship with a girl from the other side of town who could only be an influence for the good. The boy loved to read, too, a book every couple of days! Mostly detective stories or crime. He was kind, considerate, placid, and funny, when you got to know him. What haunted me, though, was the underlying stillness of his expression that told me he was waiting for the thing he dreaded most to happen.

I couldn’t imagine where the story was going at first but I was soon engrossed, wanting to know what was going to happen. The personalities are described extremely well, giving a good sense of, and realistic feel to, the characters – Jess and Jack especially. Jack is intriguing and compelling, I could see why Jess felt the way she did. 

The first section allows the players, their stories and the dynamics between them to unfold. The second part was totally unexpected, a complete surprise and filled with tension. I wasn’t sure who to believe but leaned towards Jess. The conclusion takes place years later from Jess’ point of view. She needs to make amends and continue her life without the past hanging over her.

Expressive and moving writing shows the devastating consequences of things not said and unquestioning loyalty. And how easily bonds can be damaged and broken when there’s a lack of communication and tolerance, the effect that can have on people’s lives.

I chose to read and review What I Did Not Say based on a copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | US

About B.A. Spicer

6533736Bev Spicer has been writing full-time for six years, from her crumbly Charentaise house in France. In a past life she gained a degree in English and French Literature (Keele University) and a PGCE in English methods (Queens’ College, Cambridge).

She has lived in Bridgnorth, Cambridge, Rethymnon (Crete), Mahe (Seychelles), and now lives in Charente Maritime with her husband and youngest son. The next place she wants to explore is probably Spain. Her husband is very tolerant, and secretly enjoys chaos.

Bev has been a teacher, blackjack dealer for Playboy, examiner for Cambridge ESOL, secretary (various sorts – most boringly ‘legal’), lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, and a Sunday checkout girl for Tesco (who allowed her to deliver surplus bakery products to the homeless – ‘every little helps’).

She loves people, reading, writing, speaking French, astronomy (quantum theory addict), gardening, travelling, and hates housework, cooking, drizzle and honey.

Bev publishes under the name Bev Spicer for her lighter books and B. A. Spicer for more literary work.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook | Twitter

Dark Water (Erika Foster #3) by Robert Bryndza #Crime #Suspense @robertbryndza

  • 31433106Author: Robert Bryndza
  • Published: October 2016 by Bookouture
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Police Procedural
  • four-half-stars

Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. She would lie still and undisturbed for many years but above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning. 

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child. 

Continue reading

Beyond the Carousel (Wyattsville 5) by @BetteLeeCrosby #BookReview #FridayReads Family #Saga

  • 32951455Author: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: January 2017 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Family Saga, Romance
  • five-stars

A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT…

Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left.

When Emory Hawthorne came into money bequeathed to him from his long absent father, he moved his family from their cold water flat into a dream house. For all her inherent frugality, Emory’s wife, Rose, and eleven year old Laura, loved the house. As the years passed and Emory’s salary increased, Rose learned to adapt and became more accustomed to being able to buy what she wanted. Laura secured a secretarial job at the bank working for the vice president. And it was there she met Franklin Wilkes. Continue reading

More #Menai Suspension Bridge & Strait #Photography

The Menai Bridge was the first iron suspension bridge in the world. Built by Thomas Telford, work began in 1819 and was completed and the bridge opened in 1926. Up until then the only crossing was a dangerous one by boat.

Just to the middle-ish left of the picture, just about visible, is a tiny church, tucked away at the base of the hill. Continue reading

Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett (Detective Kay Hunter #1) #TuesdayBookBlog #ScaredToDeath @RachelAmphlett

  • scared-to-death-cover-ebook-largeAuthor: Rachel Amphlett
  • Published: December 2016 by Saxon Publishing
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • five-stars

A serial killer murdering for kicks. 

A detective seeking revenge.

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong. 

Yvonne and Tony Richards return home after a holiday to a ransom demand for the safe return of their teenage daughter, Melanie. Having paid the ransom, the Richards’ follow the kidnapper’s instructions but the search for Melanie ends in a double tragedy. Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter and Detective Constable Ian Barnes race to the scene. Kay is more than relieved to be Ian Barnes’ deputy SIO, after she had recently been involved in a Professional Standards investigation, which cost her personally as well as professionally. Continue reading

The Hollow Heart (The Heartfelt Series #1) by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor #Drama #Romance

  • 16301205Author: Adrienne Vaughan
  • Published: October 2012 by Adrienne Vaughn
  • Category: Romance, Drama, Contemporary
  • four-half-stars

Marianne Coltrane is a feisty, award-winning journalist who is far from lucky in love. Taking herself off to the wilds of the west of Ireland to recuperate, she literally runs into Ryan O’Gorman, the most conceited, infuriating man in the world. 

We first meet Marianne Coltrane, investigative journalist for the Chesterfield Chronicle, as she confronts Sister Mary May about the illegal sale and adoption of children from the women’s refuge she runs. Marianne’s work and resulting article earns her a nomination for Journalist of the Year. Continue reading

Q&A with Dan Klefstad #author of Shepherd and the Professor @danklefstad #SundayBlogShare

Welcome, Dan. Good to have you here today. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the host and editor of the “Read With Me” book series on NPR station WNIJ (archive: http://northernpublicradio.org/term/wnijreadwithme-book-series). I’ve interviewed dozens of authors, two of whom inspired parts of Shepherd & the Professor. For me, each interview is a master class so I guess it made sense that I’d try to write my own stories.

What is your least favourite part of the writing process?

Starting. Staring at a blank Word .doc, trying to make order out of imaginary chaos. I consider it a victory if I write one sentence that first day. Some days I’ll settle for one word. But if it’s the right word, then I’m off to the races!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Look up the word “exposition.” Now find a more interesting way to do that. Continue reading

Turn of the Tide (Munro #1) by Margaret Skea #HistFic #RBRT #FridayReads @margaretskea1

  • 41kchzt5uxlAuthor: Margaret Skea
  • Published: September 2015 (2nd Edition) by Sanderling
  • Category: Scottish Historical Fact/Fiction
  • four-stars

Old rivalries…new friendships…dangerous decisions. 

Set in 16th Century Scotland Munro owes allegiance to the Cunninghames and to the Earl of Glencairn. Trapped in the 150-year-old feud between the Cunninghames and the Montgomeries, he escapes the bloody aftermath of an ambush, but he cannot escape the disdain of the wife he sought to protect, or his own internal conflict.

Initially, I wasn’t too sure about this book. There are a lot of characters, and their allegiances, to keep track of, which I found it a little confusing at first. Writing them down as a quick reference helped as it’s not so easy to keep referring back on a kindle. The more I read, the easier it became and the story took hold. Set in Ayrshire in the sixteenth century it tells of a notorious feud that lasted almost two centuries, between the Montgomeries and the Cunninghames. In the middle of these two warring clans is Munro and his family. Munro owes his loyalty to the Cunninghames, even as he is ever more uncomfortable with their actions and behaviour, and his understandable failure to comprehend the reasoning behind the feud. Continue reading