The throbbing, pulsating beats of the dance music are really not your thing at all. They reverberate throughout your entire body, the bass making it almost hard to breathe at times, but despite yourself you are having a good time. The club is bustling with men, women, and all those in between, gyrating and throwing shapes upon the sticky, sweaty dance floor. Maybe it’s the drink taking effect, but you are actually having a fun time. You’ve already caught the eyes of several potential admirers, not that you’d have the energy, or inclination, to do anything about it. Still, this is a new feeling and it’s a good one. Above the floor a huge glitterball slowly rotates throwing shards of sparkling incandescence across the walls and the ceiling and onto the hot sweating bodies lost in the music all around you.
As the night draws to a close the club is looking very empty now. Unfortunately you’re stuck here until the end as your friend is the night’s DJ and you promised to help them pack up their gear.
As you recline against the wall you stand transfixed as the glitterball continues to reflect the light in tiny iridescent tesserae all around you. As you continue to stare at it, mesmerised by the many rainbow colours, you start to notice something odd. You look around to see if anyone else has noticed this strange effect, but the few remaining clubbers are off their tits too much to notice anything anymore. You crane your neck back up and stare at the light dancing across the ceiling. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, those really are words dancing above you, revealing a blurb sparkling above your head:
SOME RELATIONSHIPS ARE JUST MURDER
It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town where Joe and Chris grew up.
When Chris is found brutally murdered, the police write his death off as just another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. But Joe knows his friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.
Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?
A noirish whodunnit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.
“A woman is found dead in a London street – the evidence suggests she plummeted to her death from a nearby tower block – but did she fall or was she pushed? And why does she have Danny Bird’s name written on the back of her hand?
So begins this 4th magnificent outing for Danny and the gang from The Marq.
In the frame for a murder he didn’t commit, London’s self-proclaimed Sherlock Homo has no choice but to don his metaphorical deerstalker one more time to prove his innocence and uncover the truth about the tragic death of Cathy Byrne.
With the indomitably louche Lady Caz by his side, Danny plunges headlong into a complex investigation while at the same time trying to be a dutiful son to his increasingly secretive parents, and still find the time to juggle his frustratingly moribund love-life.”
Bonjour tout les mondes and the heartiest of hearty welcomes to a very special blog tour post. Why is it so special? Thank you so much for asking – such a polite reader. I shall tell you why:
Today I welcome you to the very first Beardy Book Blog Players play. I know right? HOW exciting is that? But who are the BBBP, and, most importantly of all, why?
Both excellent questions, so let me enlighten you.
It was a dark and rainy night, a Thursday I think. It may have been a Wednesday, but it definitely wasn’t a Monday or a Tuesday. Or a Friday. The weekend is most certainly out, so I guess that leaves Thursday. So, it was a dark and rainy night on a Thursday… No, wait, it was a Tuesday. Yes, I remember now because it was Trunks Tuesday, where we wear our swimming trunks and play with our… er… you don’t need to know that.
It was a dark and rainy Tuesday when I had a brilliant idea. I thought, wouldn’t it be a great wheeze to put on a play of one of my favourite books of this year, Death Of An Angel by Derek Farrell? It was ripe, ripe I tell you, for adapting into a play. It is chock full of drama, great humour, pathos, wit and charm, packs one hell of a story and is full of brilliant and memorable characters. Unfortunately, there was big snaggaroo; with my very busy schedule and lack of any playwriting skills, I didn’t feel equipped to adapt it. After a bit of asking around I was given the number of Fabian, who had written a play once; he adapted a pamphlet about avoiding and treating verrucas for his local medical centre when they had a load of swimmers in after a particularly nasty outbreak of verrucas, and so I felt he was up to the task. I popped around to the address I was given and knocked on his door. Once I had explained why I was stood in the rain wearing only swimming trunks, and I had also explained the same to the police officer after the nosey neighbour in the flat above complained, and then calmed down a particularly irate elderly man who had an attack of the vapours on his way back from the chemist, causing him to drop his prescription viagra into the drain thus ruining his evening with the nosey neighbour upstairs, I won Fabian over and he agreed to write the script. Job done. Now I needed a cast.
To save you the agony of me recapping every detail of this endeavour, I rounded up the few people I knew who I felt would bring Derek’s characters to life and do justice to his wonderful, witty and deeply moving book. (basically I asked around the local bus stops as I don’t actually know anyone. It’s amazing what a pack of mint imperials and a box of Tunnocks tea cakes can buy you)
Now, it’s still in early form, please bear that in mind, but I’m so excited that I have decided to invite you all to the very first read-through and rehearsal. You lucky, lucky people.
Oh, I should point out that due to my above and aforementioned very busy schedule – it really is very busy, very busy indeed – I have not yet seen the script. This will be my first time. I am quite nervous about it, I have to admit, especially as you lot are here with me. But hey, what could possibly go wrong, eh?
Greetings mortals, immortals, the undead, the comatose or just plain slow, and welcome to my beardy blog for the Desire Card blog tour. I am thrilled that you have taken the time to stop by and see what I have to offer you on my stop of this very exciting blog tour.
So, what is The Desire Card? Well, it is the title of a book, innit. But not just any old book, oh no; it is a most splendid book indeed. It is the Fahrenheit Press debut by Lee Matthew Goldberg and it is a real doozy.
Hey, I have just had a wizard idea:
Why don’t you hit the little link below and check out my review from way back in February, or, to give it its correct name, Fahrenbruary? It will fill you in on all the deets about the story before you head on in to the Q&A.
I know right? I’m a clever old stick. I’m not just a pretty beard 😉
Wowsers McTrousers, if that hasn’t piqued your interest then I just don’t know what will, frankly.
Hello and welcome this very special guest post Q&A. What’s so special about it? Well, are you sitting comfortably? You are? Excellent, and then I shall explain all:
You may or may not be aware of the independent publishing powerhouse that is Fahrenheit Press. If you are not then you jolly well should be. They are publishers of some of the finest crime authors and books that the UK and beyond has to offer. Aside from their main label, they also have the Fahrenheit 13 imprint which publishes experimental and very edgy noir, mostly in the novella format.
But now there is something new: their brand new imprint: 69Crime:
As you can no doubt deduce from that impressively cheeky logo above, 69Crime publishes not one, but TWO novellas in one. That’s right, double the bang for your hard earned buck.
AND, not only that, but they are reversible too.
Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? No…. way!
Totes way! Have a look at this wee video thingy:
Isn’t that the coolest thing? If you want to know more about why and how 69Crime came about then hit this LINK to find out more.
So, what’s this post all about then?
Well, the very first book in the 69Crime series is a double header with Nick Quantrill and Aidan Thorn. Nick is the co-founder of Hull Noir, and writer of the Joe Geraghty series of novels (pub by Fahrenheit Press), whilst Aidan is the author of When The Music’s Over (pub by Fahrenheit 13) and Rival Sons (pub by Shotgun Honey).
Now both Nick and Aidan thought it would be a great wheeze to do a Q&A for the launch of Bang Bang You’re Dead and Worst Laid Plans wherein they asked each other the questions and then each one answered them too.
And then Aidan flipped Nick over and did him again. That is, he asked the questions and Nick answered them (filthy minded animals, the lot of you!), and they have given little beardy old me the privilege of hosting the results 😃
So below I present the inverse of the, um, verse of the previous Q&A that was performed yesterday as at time of writing. Of course if you’re reading this on any other date than the 16th June 2019, then, er, oh sod it, never mind.
Enjoy the Q&A 😄
Hello and welcome to Day 5 of the Blog Tour for Dead Is Beautiful by Jo Perry. I’m so glad you could join me in celebrating this magnificent series. Now, you may, or you may not, be aware that this is in fact book 4 in the ‘Dead Is…’ series. No, no you don’t need to leave. It’s ok, all is good. This series isn’t one of those next-book-continues-into-next-book kind. You can happily read this as a standalone, as I’ll explain later in the review.
However, there are three other books out there that I absolutely suggest that you check out. They are:
If you click on each of those titles above you will be taken to the brilliant It’s An Indie Book Blog run by the wonderful and far-more-eloquent-than-I Matt Keyes. He reviewed these books in a way I never could and you really should check them out.
Have you done that? It’s ok, you can come back and do it later; I won’t be upset. As long as you do read them, I’ll be happy.
Coolio, shall we get on with it then? Splendid.
First, let us have some blurb:
DEAD IS BEAUTIFUL finds Rose leading Charlie from the peace of the afterlife to the place he hates most on earth, “Beverly Fucking Hills,” where a mature, protected tree harbouring a protected bird is being illegally cut down.
The tree-assault leads Charlie and Rose to a murder and to the person Charlie loathes most in life and in death, the sibling he refers to only as “his shit brother,” who is in danger.
Charlie fights across the borders of life and death, for the man who never fought for him, and with the help of a fearless Scotsman, a beautiful witch, and a pissed-off owl, Charlie must stop a cruel and exploitative scheme and protect his beloved Rose.
Wotcha and welcome to my little review of Paul Burston‘s psychological thriller, The Closer I Get. Boy O’Blimey do I have a treat for you today. Oh yes, yes I do.
If you care to have a gander at the blurb below (not now, not now, we’ll get to it; I’m just saying), you will see that The Closer I Get is a dark and compelling story about online relationships gone wrong. A tale of buttons pressed and lives torn asunder. Ooh, that’s good word to add the the lexicon isn’t it: asunder. Say it with me: asssssunnnnderrrrr. Nice, huh? Where was I?
Seeing as this is, for the most part, a tale of asundered social media relationships I thought why not ask those very social media types to review this book for me? I know right? Genius or what? Yes yes, I do amaze even myself at times.
In a moment of madness I decided to throw it out there onto social media and see what the cat chat fl… flap chat chap…. chap chap cat ca… chat cat brings in through the chat cat-flap. Jeeez, I thought that would be simpler to write than say, but no 🙄
And so I turned to BookChatz – the bookish social media site. Now, it is entirely possible that you may never have heard of BookChatz. I know I hadn’t until I started writing this review. In fact, since completing my review it appears to have vanished without so much of a trace. Like a dead body in a maggot farm it has completely disappeared (only without the icky smell or the bones left behind). But I swear that it was there, as the following screen grabs shall attest. Crikey, I’m chucking great words about with gay abandon today: attest. Once more, say it with me: attesssssssssst. Lovely.
So, what am I gabbing on about? BookChatz is a place where book lovers, worshipers of the written word, purveyors of the printed page, fanciers of the front flap… um, maybe not that one… disciples of the dust-jacket, sectaries of the sentence, fans of fiction, nuts of the noun, acolytes of the, er, adverb? Oh, you get the bloody idea; it’s basically a social media site for bookworms and book lovers to articulate their bookish passions. There, that was easier.
I discovered it quite by chance whilst researching my review. I thought I needed to immerse myself into the darker corners of social media to get underneath the words, to the very beating heart of the pages, of this book. As it turned out most of the BookChatzzers, as they like to call themselves – not very snappy, I grant you – were lovely people and had quite a lot to say about The Closer I Get. Phew 😂
So, below I present to you some screen grabs I grabbed from my questions about The Closer I Get. I’ve edited them for clarity, removed some of the more, um, choice impressions, and interspersed them with some comments of my own in order to avoid spoilers and just to expand on some points. Please note that any typos, grammatical errors or annoying syntax is entirely the fault of the user and has nothing at all to do with me, your faithful favourite beardy book blogger ☺️
But before all of that guffery, have yourself some blurrrrrrrrb:
Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.
Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her father and her social-media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has.
When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.
But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.
A compulsive, disturbingly relevant, twisty and powerful psychological thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk just one ‘like’ away…
Today you are very excited. Today is the day that you take your first ride by yourself in your new Level 5 autonomous car. It’s dead flash. You’ve been shown how to programme the sat nav by the very helpful and overly toothsome salesperson, and now it is sitting proudly on your driveway after having driven itself here from the showroom. How swish is that? No fuss with collecting it, it was just waiting there when you got home from work. Totes amaze beans. You climb inside and stare at all of the lights and displays that confront you. After a spot of trial and error you locate the sat nav, speak your destination – no more typing anymore – and sit back to enjoy your ride. You even have a celebratory Pimms in your hand because drink driving is a thing of the past. You’ve also taken the liberty of bringing your favourite jigsaw with you just because you could and it fits perfectly onto the little retractable table. Awesome. The car trundles off as smooth as you like and without any noise at all. It feels odd at first, but you soon forget the feeling as you get stuck into your jigsaw. Those 2000 pieces ain’t gonna jig themselves together. You are just basking in the satisfaction of fitting two particularly troublesome pieces together when suddenly the car lurches left. What the…? Then it lurches right. Your Pimms spills all over the new seats. Well, that’s gonna stain and that piece of cucumber will be a bugger to retrieve. Over the next 40 minutes your car zigs and zags, turning sharply left and right, then back on itself and diagonally across fields and over gardens. You are scared stiff as you have absolutely no control over the car at all. People in other cars screech to a halt and pedestrians and gardeners leap out of the way yelling obscenities as you pass by. Eventually the car comes to a sudden stop, throwing you forwards into the control console. Dazed and covered in jigsaw pieces you stare at the sat nav display screen. Where the hell are you? What? You’re miles from home. What the hell happened? You’ll be calling the overly toothsome salesperson right away to complain in the sternest of fashions. You try to work out where you are and so you zoom the map out a bit. Then a bit more. Then a bit more. Your route is traced in red all over the county, but your shock and anger is slowly replaced by amazement and confusion as you look at the red line and begin to realise that it appears to form a pattern. You zoom out even further. How could it…? Is that…? Yes, yes it looks like it is. Good grief… It’s a blurb:
‘When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.
The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?’