A Glimmer of Hope by Steve McHugh #BookReview #BlogTour

From Steve McHugh, the bestselling author of The Hellequin Chronicles, comes a new urban fantasy series packed with mystery, action, and, above all, magic.

Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.

But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.

To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for A Glimmer of Hope today, many thanks to the author, publishers and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my ecopy of the…

#BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway - CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour

Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on a world mystery tour.

Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood. Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.

I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for The CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour today. Many thanks to the CWA, Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me and for my advance copy of the book. I'm also absolutely delighted to be able to offer a brilliant giveaway for two lucky winners today!  One of the contributors to the anthology, Martine Bailey, whose story, A Mouthful of Restaurant is a dark and sexy culinary thriller, has very kindly provided copies of her novels An Appetite for Violets and The Penny Heart. Don't miss your chance to enter below.
 It's been a while since I've read a collection of short stories and longer still since I've read an anthology by different authors but what a way to remind myself what I've been missing! The only problem was where to start, should I choose an author or pick a story at random? Eventually I decided to start at the very beginning (as Julie Andrews once suggested!)
Every single story here is a treat; the theme for the anthology is a mystery tour and so we're taken around the world and see human life exposed in all its deadly forms. There's something here for fans of  almost every sort of crime novel - police procedurals, psychological thrillers, noir, cosy mysteries and more. Victims are dispatched in a myriad of ways; shot, burned to death, poisoned, strangled with a guitar string, even ice cream tubs feature as murder weapons... Some of the perpetrators are caught, others escape, sometimes a rough justice is served, sometimes the victims are unfortunate enough to meet a monster.
I don't want to pick any particular favourites because I really enjoyed every story here, this really is crime writing of the very highest quality. The skill involved in writing a great short story is perhaps not always appreciated enough, every author here has succeeded in creating a compelling and satisfying tale that never left me feeling I'd been short-changed. That said, there were a few where I'd love to read more from the characters and to learn where life takes them next.
The CWA Mystery Tour would make a fabulous Christmas present for any crime fiction lover; the ideal book to pick up and put down during the frantic festive season. However, it should also come with a warning because writing this engaging is like a tube of Pringles - once you start reading, you might find you can't stop!

The CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour is edited by Martin Edwards and published by Orenda Books. Don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, especially my fellow host today, the lovely Noelle over at CrimeBookJunkie.

Now for that fantastic giveaway! Winners will receive either a copy of An Appetite for Violets OR The Penny Heart, chosen at random. First, here's a little bit more about  Martine Bailey and her books.

An Appetite for Violets

That's how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you're invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. A writing desk lies open and you cannot help but read a paper. Then you find something, something you should not have found.
Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the foreboding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets and lies.
Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, Biddy takes with her an old household book of recipes, The Cook's Jewel, in which she records her observations. When she finds herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, Biddy realises that the secrets she holds could be the key to her survival - or her downfall . . .

The Penny Heart

Sentenced to death for a simple confidence trick, Mary Jebb escapes the gallows ... but her reprieve is harsh: seven years in the unforgiving penal colony of Botany Bay.
Yet Mary is determined not to be forgotten, sending two pennies, engraved with a promise, to the two men who sealed her fate.
Timid artist Grace Moore jumps at the opportunity to marry handsome gentleman Michael Croxon - happy if only to get away from her drunken father.
But when Grace takes on a new cook, the two penny heart love tokens reveal she is tied to a world she didn't know existed ... A world of deceit, double-crossing, revenge and murder.

About the Author

Martine Bailey writes about food and mystery and was credited by Fay Weldon as inventing a new genre, the 'culinary gothic'. Her debut, 'An Appetite for Violets', was a Booklist Top Ten Crime Debut, 2015. While living in New Zealand she wrote 'The Penny Heart' (a Sunday Times Best Summer Read). Martine is an award-winning amateur cook and now lives in Cheshire.

Good luck everyone!

Martine Bailey giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. They really do! I loved Martine's short story in the anthology so I've added both to my tbr wishlist now!


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