Wicked Dix

wicked dix


Wicked Dix

by Monica James

I’ve always been a bad boy, with a very wicked reputation.

But then I met Madison – sweet, vulnerable, innocent Madison. She makes me feel as if there is hope for me. As if I could be a good man. I need her more than I need air to breathe.

There’s just one problem: Juliet. She’s a temptress who won’t take no for an answer. If I resist her, she’ll use our dirty secret to ruin everything with Madison.

I don’t want to lose Madison, but can I really change? This is my chance to prove that I can. But it’s going to be one hell of a ride.


This is the second book in the series, Dirty Dix being the first and you really do need to read that book first as it ends on a cliffhanger and this book takes up the baton from that ending. My review of Dirty Dix is here.

In this book Dixon Matthews, psychiatrist to the addicted, is trying to make his fledgling relationship with Madison work as he realises how much she means to him and what a mistake the venomous Juliet was. Unfortunately Juliet is not letting go and is blackmailing him into continuing their relationship. So Dixon comes up with a plan to play her at her own game. With devastating consequences.

I really liked this book. Dixon deciding to grow up and be the man Madison needs him to be, gives him much more depth and even when he makes the wrong decisions it is for the right reasons: trying to protect his beloved Madison from the vile Dylan.

Madison also changes in this book, not allowing herself to be a victim, becoming stronger, partly due to her love for Dixon but also because she decides to take her life into her own hands and decides to move forward when she needs to.

The scenes with Dixon’s friends, Hunter and Finch, are memorable. Not just for the fun and humour but also the heartrending scenes when they have his back and support him through his heartbreak.

Wicked Dix is billed as erotica and it certainly does have some hot scenes, but this book is much more of a love story and a gorgeous love story at that.

You can purchase a copy of Wicked Dix here

Many thanks to the publisher, Bookouture, for sending me a copy via Netgalley.




Homecoming-a novella




by Tanya Bullock


Rosie and Tom belong together.
For too long, war and its devastating aftermath have kept them apart.
Now that Tom has finally returned home, Rosie hopes that they will be able to put the past behind them.
But when a mysterious sequence of events unfolds, their love is put to the test once more.
With a shocking secret hanging heavily over their relationship…
With circumstances conspiring against them at every turn…
Rosie and Tom find themselves caught up in the biggest battle of their lives.
Will their demons ultimately consume them?
Or will love conquer all in the end?


This is only a short read but what a lovely read. Billed as quite possibly the strangest romance ever told, it quite possibly is, but it is also beautiful and charming and unexpected. And the cover is totally perfect for this book.

The story of Rosie and Tom is told through two timelines, the present day and just before the second world war, when they first met. The story shows how love endures no matter what..

..But all is not what it seems.

I loved the characters; Rosie who would fight to her last breath for what she wants, and Tom who was such a sweet, caring man.  I loved Chrissie for her care and empathy when all around her people seemed to be losing theirs. If only there were more Chrissies in the world it would be a far better place.

It is very difficult to review this book as I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but it is beautifully written, heartwarming and so different. And at only 86 pages long can be read in one sitting, but you’ll wish for more.

Homecoming is out on 1st April and you can purchase a copy here

Many thanks to Blackbird books for sending me a copy.




Jenna’s Journey by Julie Ryan

Today, I have an excerpt from Julie Ryan’s latest book Jenna’s Journey. Which is discounted 16-21 March – only 99p/99c!!



jenna's journey

Synopsis: Leaving town, heading to the Greek Isles without telling husband or friends, is heady medicine for a failing marriage. Seduced by Grecian sun and sky, Jenna innocently buys a bewitching urn that tangles her into the web of a criminal world more sinister than she ever imagined. Romance is always afoot in the Greek Isles and Jenna gets a large helping with the seductive Nikos. Family is important in Greece, and Nikos helps Jenna learn all the richness it brings, and pass it on to the next generation.
Twenty-five years later, Allie takes this same journey, and a little time travel, a big “what if” dream, a fated meeting with a taxi driver and a sprinkle of paranormal intrigue intertwine in a story that spans the lives of a mother and daughter. Twisty as the streets in a Greek island village, full of unexpected characters found on a faraway vacation along with frightening threats from nasty villains, Jenna’s Journey will keep you turning pages far into the night.
Working out a lifetime of secrets, imagining what might have been, eluding nasty antiquities thieves, exploring a new love—how would you have managed? Follow Jenna’s adventure and see how she changed her life in one journey!

Arrival in Greece: Allie

July 2013
As Allie stepped off the plane, a rush of excitement and anticipation flooded over her. She wondered if her mother had felt the same when she arrived in Greece almost twenty-five years ago. She knew that there must have been many changes during that time. Instead of flying direct to the island, her mother would have had to fly to Athens first, and then taken a boat to the island as direct flights to the island had only started up a couple of years ago. She stood in line waiting to clear customs, feeling guilty even though she had nothing to hide. Just walking through the green channel, she could sense hidden eyes watching her every move. This automatically made her act suspiciously, and then breathing a sigh of relief, she was through and out into the bright Greek sunshine. Squinting to read the address on the scrap of paper, she hailed a taxi and the driver sped off towards the hotel.
“Hi, I am Leo,” the taxi driver said, introducing himself in fluent English.
“Allie,” she replied.
She’d been anxious about being ripped off or taken on a wild goose chase, but there was no need to worry. Leo seemed to be the exception to her stereotyped image of Greek drivers. Although he drove fast, he negotiated the roads with great skill. Driving up narrow tracks, he tooted his horn to let any other drivers know he was coming.
She wanted to ask him about the austerity measures that had recently been imposed on them in order to meet their euro-deficit obligations. She had been quite shocked at the effects that the cutbacks had had on ordinary people. Last year, the government had introduced a kind of surtax cunningly collected through the electricity bill. If you refused to pay or couldn’t pay, you were cut off—simple! People had struggled to keep warm through the winter, as many couldn’t afford oil any more. The news had shown piles of rubbish in the streets thanks to the refuse collectors going on strike because they hadn’t been paid. Allie remembered seeing pictures of Piraeus on the news with garbage heaped as high as cars. She wanted to ask Leo more about how ordinary people had coped, but when she pressed him for more details, he shrugged and smiled.
“Greece is not only Athens, you know. Here, sure, life is tough, but we survive. Maybe we spend a little less, complain a little more, but life is good. You are in the most beautiful place in the world. If you have the sun and the sea and a few vegetables—what more do you need?”

Author bio

julie ryan
Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles.
Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far, and now as a newly released edition in the USA from Booktrope, it promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles. Pandora’s Prophecy and Sophia’s Secret make up the rest of the trilogy.

You can purchase the book through Amazon here

Social Media Links

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/julieryanauthor

Website Url: http://juliesworldofbooks.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julieryan18

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jewilkinson1441
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/458168.julie_ryan

The One-In-A-Million Boy

the one in a million boy



Miss Ona Vitkus has – aside from three months in the summer of 1914 – lived unobtrusively, her secrets fiercely protected.

The boy, with his passion for world records, changes all that. He is eleven. She is one hundred and four years, one hundred and thirty three days old (they are counting). And he makes her feel like she might be really special after all. Better late than never…

Only it’s been two weeks now since he last visited, and she’s starting to think he’s not so different from all the rest.

Then the boy’s father comes, for some reason determined to finish his son’s good deed. And Ona must show this new stranger that not only are there odd jobs to be done, but a life’s ambition to complete . . .


When I received this book from the publisher, some of the advance praise compared it to Elizabeth Is Missing and The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry, neither of which I particularly enjoyed, so it sat on my shelf for a good long while. The moral of this story is, never listen to books being compared to other books. The One-In-A-Million Boy is a triumph!

The ‘boy’ of the title is only on our pages a very short while, but he runs through the story like a golden thread; touching everyone. We meet him when he is despatched to Ona vitkus’ house as part of his scout duties. Ona is 104 years old, a Lithuanian immigrant, who has spent the last few decades just coasting through life. As they get to know each other, the boy, with his love of order and lists and an obsession with the Guinness Book of Records, sparks something in Ona that she hasn’t felt for a long time: an interest in life. He gives her something to aim for. But when the boy doesn’t turn up for a couple of weeks, she thinks he’s just like all the others: he is not.

Enter Quinn. Father of the boy. Quinn is a guitarist. He has lived his life on the road, far removed from his wife and son, desperately trying to make it in a band. His wife, knowing that he never properly knew his son, sends him to Ona to actually complete something as his father. Quinn spends the book trying to atone for his parental failures. The friendship that blossoms between Quinn and Ona is the heartbeat of the book. I loved all the characters in this book, but it was Quinn that stole my heart, made me laugh and moved me to tears.

Belle, the boy’s mother, comes to us impossibly wracked with pain and grief, but with such a quiet dignity. Unable to move forward, she finds common ground with Ona and tries to help her make her dream come true.

Ted Ledbetter is the scoutmaster, a widower, a rock solid man who has his heart set on a new family.

In the end it is the boy who shows everyone how life should be lived and what really matters. It’s his voice that comes shining through, even in the one-sided tapes recorded with Ona about her life. He doesn’t need a name, he is bigger than that.

All the characters in this book are utterly compelling. I just wanted to spend my every waking moment with them. Their flaws, their trials, their efforts and their ultimate goodness just makes your heart ache and sing at the same time.

Whilst the book is sad and poignant, it never descends into sentimentality or depression.  The prose is poetic and lilting but never out of reach. Some of the dialogue, especially between Ona and Quinn, crackles with humour:

 Belle started the car – the getaway car now, it seemed – and fiddled with the controls. ‘Where’s the AC?’  ‘It’s a car,’ Ona said, ‘not a berth on the Queen Mary.’  She was still chafing from being referred to as a community project.

‘A wedding?’ Ona said. Her colour bloomed. He could see how someone might take her for, say, ninety-five, in exactly the right light.

Monica Wood has written an extraordinary tale of grief, loss, hope and friendship that will stay with me for a very long time. Don’t read this book for what it’s compared to, read it for itself, because its wonderful and uplifting and every page is a joy to read. You will love it…and well…if you don’t I’m not really sure we could be friends.

A massive *****

Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy.

The One-In-A-Million Boy is out on 5th April and you can purchase here







Dirty Dix

dirty Dix


Dirty Dix

by Monica James


I knew she was bad news when she walked into my office, but I just couldn’t help myself…

Filthy, sexy and full of surprises, Juliet is so hot she has me on fire. I’ve met my match and I can’t help going back for more.

Then there’s Madison… she’s sweet, funny and awakens in me a fierce need to protect her.

But I don’t do relationships. I don’t usually do the same woman twice.

Juliet and Madison: Two very different women have got me completely hooked.

Who will I choose?

I know who I should choose, but I never said I was the hero of this story, or even the good guy. And besides, who wants to be good, when it feels so good being bad?

My tale isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you’re game, strap yourself in and expect the unexpected. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…


Dr Dixon Matthews is a psychiatrist who specialises in addiction, but he’s pretty much addicted himself…to sex. He has no scruples about who he has sex with, patients, clients, waitresses, pretty much anyone.

When he meets two women that he is attracted to, he can’t decide who he wants; Juliet another sex addict who will not want a relationship or Madison who is quiet and brings out his protective instinct. Obviously he makes the wrong choice and spends the book trying to right this wrong.

I found it quite hard to get into the book at first as it was just a man’s point of view of easy sex and there wasn’t any plot to speak of. But as it went further in and the different relationships came to light I really started to enjoy it.

I liked how Dixon grew as the novel went on and he tried to sort his life out. But as this is the first in a series there are plot twists and the book ends on a cliffhanger.

If you are at all offended by sex scenes this book is really not for you. But after a slow start I enjoyed it and will be reading the second book in the series.

As an aside, this book was first published as Addicted To Sin and it was then changed to Dirty Dix. I have to say I much prefer the original title.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy via Netgalley

Guest Post – Chris Rogers, Author of Paradise Cursed.

Today on the blog I am delighted to welcome Chris Rogers.  Chris has written a lovely guest post about how her latest book, Paradise Lost, came about. but first a liitle bit about the new novel.

Paradise Cursed ebook cover


Captain Cord McKinsey, a pirate cursed in 1716 for doing a good deed, now operates his schooner, the Sarah Jane, as a cruise ship. Doomed to remain effectively ship-bound and within the Caribbean waters, Cord, 34, has often reinvented himself and his ship over these near 300 years.

Though long despaired of ever breaking his curse, he becomes entwined in solving similar problems for passengers, problems that require extraordinary solutions. When his new Jamaican first mate, Ayanna, confesses she has been cursed by a Bokor, Cord agrees to help her locate a powerful shaman.

But the Bokor’s plan is more heinous and far-reaching than anyone suspects. The lovely Ayanna fails to mention that her mind and body are changing, taking form as a ravenous reptile. Even with the help of a psychic passenger, Cord may lose the people he cares for as well as his ship, the only square footage on land or sea where pain is not his constant companion.

Chris Rogers, best known for her novels of pure suspense, has previously confined any supernatural excursions to short stories featured in her Death Edge anthologies. In Paradise Cursed, Rogers gives imagination full rein to explore life’s darker mysteries.



Confession Time: I can’t swim and I get seasick every time I’m on a ship. My first day on a tall ship I spent alternately hugging the toilet and hugging the cool tile floor of our tiny bathroom. In sea language that’s the “head.” In any language: I was miserable.
Yet once I got my sea legs under me, the experience was enjoyable and remains one of my favorite vacation memories. Back then I wasn’t yet a novelist. Later, I cast a romantic-suspense tale on that 4-masted schooner. The book never jelled, but the setting continued to intrigue me.
More years passed. Bantam Books published my Dixie Flannigan—Bounty Hunter series, which didn’t lend itself to a tall ship, though I did plan to send Dixie down Tortuga way to deliver a yacht. The series unfortunately was cancelled before I finished that episode.
As a reader, my favorite stories are dark fantasy, mystery-suspense and science fiction, in that order, so it was inevitable that I’d eventually turn my imagination to a novel in my favorite genre. Similarly, a favorite motif waiting to show up in a story was immortality. It fascinates me that virtually every human wants to live forever but no one wants to get old.
Forever is a terribly long time. What does a person do decade after decade for centuries? How would you protect your secret or endure the loss of loved ones? Living forever sounds exhausting.
When my rather eccentric brain began combining these thoughts with my long-ago experience, I envisioned the ship flying the Jolly Roger. Suddenly I knew my protagonist: a pirate from the 1700s who, along with his schooner, was cursed to sail the Caribbean for eternity.
Now the story had some juice. How could I not write it?

chrisrogersHiRes (1)
Chris became a writer the easy way: She read voraciously and filled blank pages with drivel until her fingers cramped and her brain defected. Eventually, she learned to craft a decipherable sentence. Author of the Dixie Flannigan series, Bitch Factor, Rage Factor, Chill Factor and Slice of Life, Chris has published stories and essays in, among others, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Writer’s Digest.

While continuing to explore the literary venue, Chris inevitably embraced the creative form of paint on canvas, which allows her narrative flair and graphic origins to unfold in unison. While creating new canvases, she also participates in the design of her book covers. Her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections.

Paradise Cursed by Chris Rogers is published on 1st April and can be purchased from Amazon here

Thank you so much Chris,for agreeing to come and chat on readingwrites.


The Kind Worth Killing

the kind worth killing


The Kind Worth Killing

by Peter Swanson


When his flight gets delayed, Ted Severson meets Lily, a magnetic stranger, in the airport bar. In the netherworld of international travel and too many martinis, he confesses his darkest secrets, about his wife’s infidelity and how he wishes her dead. Without missing a beat she offers to help him carry out the task…


When Ted meets Lily in an airport lounge, both waiting for, what happens to be, the same flight home (not the last co-incidence of the book), he has no idea how his life is about to change. Ted tells Lily the story of his cheating wife and his desire to kill her. Lily without batting one of her beautiful eyelids agrees to help him.

The book is told in alternating chapters of Ted and his miserable marriage and Lily and her miserable past. Then we have Miranda, Ted’s wife, weighing in with her side of the story. We even get chapters from Kimball, the detective.

Lily is the main character who runs through the book and despite her sociopathic tendancies, You do find yourself rooting for her and at times empathising with her. Her backstory is dealt with in detail – unlike the other characters. She had a difficult childhood, which seemed to give her the survival instinct that she over-relied on.

Ted is also one of the main characters, but you really don’t know him, his whole story revolves around his cheating wife and her lover, and his pressing need for revenge.

None of the other characters really made any impression as they just weren’t developed enough for you to care one way or the other.

Despite the lack of character development this is a wickedly enjoyable book with lots of twists and turns. Suspension of disbelief on a grand scale is required and as long as you can do that you will enjoy.

A good holiday read.






The Rise And Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas BLOG TOUR

the rise and fall of the miraculous vespas


The Rise And Fall of The Miraculous Vespas

by David F. Ross


Rock ‘n’ Roll doesn’t necessarily mean a band. It doesn’t mean a singer, and it doesn’t mean a lyric, really. It’s that question of trying to be immortal.                                                                                 Malcolm McLaren

The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas is the timeless story of the quest for such pop immortality. When a young Ayrshire band miraculously hits the big time with the smash hit record of 1984, international stardom beckons. That’s despite having a delusional teenage manager guided by malevolent voices… Can Max Mojo’s band of talented band of social misfits repeat their success and pay back an increasingly agitated cartel of local gangsters? Or will they have to kidnap Boy George and hope for the best? Features much loved characters from The Last Days of Disco.


After reading and absolutely loving The Last Days Of Disco, (one of my top 10 books of last year. You can find my review here), I couldn’t wait to read David F. Ross’s next offering: The Rise And Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas, and I was not disappointed.

This is another fabulous read. It is the second in a trilogy about life in 1980s Kilmarnock, Scotland. But although I would definitely say start at the first book, you don’t need to, this can be read as a standalone, but then you’ll want to read the first book: so why not?

In this book our hero is Dale Wishart, son of  local gangster, James ‘Washer’ Wishart. When we first meet Dale, he is lying comatose in hospital after a bad beating, when the voice known as Max Mojo begins pounding in his head. Within days Dale has changed his name by deed poll and is looking for a band in his search for immortality.

The band itself is not without characters; singer and guitarist Grant Delgrado, originally Grant Dale; Maggie, the drummer; and the brothers Sylvester; Simon, a kleptomaniac and Eddie, the hypnotised agrophobic with a pressing need to wear a motorcycle helmet.

The Vespas make it to the very top, appearing on the live Christmas edition of Top Of The Pops: the pinnacle of achievement in the 80s. Unfortunately nothing is straightforward for the boys from kilmarnock and their meteoric rise is short-lived.

But the journey is a rip-roaring one. And just as in ‘Last Days‘ the music provides an unforgettable backdrop and anyone that lived through the era will recognise much of it

A lot of the characters are new, but it’s a welcome return for the loveable gangster, Fat Franny Duncan. Unfortunately for him his empire is on the wane and he has his hands full looking after his beloved mum who is not so good.

The humour is just superb. David Ross totally gets the working class lad: the banter, the mayhem, the ‘nothing to lose’ attitude. But there is also the undercurrent of violence with the different factions; the local gangsters and the revenge-seeking hard men from Glasgow. Not everyone is having a laugh.

As with the first book this one is written in the local dialect and it is this more than anything that gives the book its honesty.

This is another triumph for the author, it has it all; music, humour, love, rivalry and it’s very sweary and very human.

Highly recommended

Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda books for sending me a copy.


David Ross copy

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964, and he lived in various part of the city until the late ‘70s. He subsequently moved to Kilmarnock, where he has lived since. He was educated at James Hamilton Academy until being politely asked to leave.
 (Expulsion is such a harsh word, isn’t it?)
 Following a frankly ludicrous early foray into sporadic employment (Undertakers, Ice Cream Parlour, Tennis Groundsman, DJ … he’ll save these stories until he knows you better), David found himself at Glasgow School of Art, studying architecture.
In 1992, he graduated from the Mackintosh School of Architecture. He is now the Design Director of one of Scotland’s largest, oldest and most successful practices, Keppie Design. (Funny old world, eh?)

David’s most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP, and The Last Days of Disco was his first novel, The Rise And Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas his second. He is currently working on the the third and final instalment The Man Who Loved Islands.

You can purchase The Rise And Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas here

You can purchase The Last Days Of Disco here


Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour here:



How To Be Brave

how to be brave


How To Be Brave

by Louise Beech


All the stories died that morning … until we found the one we’d always known.

When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep her daughter alive. They begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a man who has something for them. Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued. Poignant, beautifully written and tenderly told, How To Be Brave weaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War.


How To Be Brave is the story of a mother trying to help her daughter find a way to cope with a life-changing illness. When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it feels like their world has fallen apart. Rose is having real trouble coping with the injections and Natalie is looking for ways to help her through.

Rose always loved stories but now has lost all interest, but then a man in a brown suit keeps appearing to mum and daughter and he shows them the story they should be reading.

And so begins the interweaving of the two tales of bravery

In exchange for allowing the injections, Natalie tells Rose the story of an ancestor, whose ship was torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II and his subsequent struggle for survival.

Louise Beech is a born storyteller; both the stories have incredible depth. The first with Rose and Natalie fighting against each other and Natalie trying to do the best she can for her daughter, whilst Rose becomes increasingly belligerent and unmanageable. It is only the second story that calms her and helps to bring her own troubles into perspective.

The story of Colin and his compatriots is brought to life brilliantly. You can almost feel the water lapping against the tiny boat, and the hardship endured is heartbreaking.

This is a book of love, survival,hope and most of all the endurance of the human spirit.