Month: October 2019

Cover Reveal AND Release Day for The Final Trail by AA Abbott!

Today I am helping in the cover reveal for The Final Trail by AA Abbott! This is the fifth book in The Trail series. It is time for a double celebration: Today is also release day!!!  So you can go ahead and buy it now!!! 

Book Description:

Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.  

 

 

 

What does the cover look like?????? Keep scrolling to find out!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost there!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here it is:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Contact the Author:
Website
Twitter @AAAbbottstories

About the Series:

THE LAST EDITION OF TENSE CRIME THRILLER SERIES SET IN BIRMINGHAM RECEIVES CITY CENTRE LAUNCH

Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21st century with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.

The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting – but together, they follow the same characters over several years.

The Trail series author AA Abbott also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.  She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series.

Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of THE FINAL TRAIL which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.

In the last book …”Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn’t trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn’t thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That’s not his biggest problem, though. He’s trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat’s brother, Erik, and it’s draining money he doesn’t have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat’s life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother’s deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business – and learn to trust Kat?”

Helen said “I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”

Most of the action in THE FINAL TRAIL takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.

Helen added “It’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales – I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”

THE FINAL TRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights.

THE FINAL TRAIL will be available to order from Amazon in e-book, paperback and dyslexia-friendly format from Monday 28th October 2019.

Short Story Sunday: A Double Review of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Movie Comparison

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Shirley Jackson’s classic short story The Lottery, and I also give a film comparison of the 1996 TV movie.

Author: Shirley Jackson
Published: June 26, 1948
Short Story

Short Story Description:

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a memorable and terrifying masterpiece, fueled by a tension that creeps up on you slowly without any clear indication of why. This is just a townful of people, after all, choosing their numbers for the annual lottery. What’s there to be scared of?

Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Kim’s Review:

I love Shirley Jackson so much; she keeps getting better and better the more I read. The Lottery is one that sits quietly in anthologies and literature textbooks. We’ve all read it,  back in high school where we complained about the required reading. It wasn’t until I read it again as an adult that I really understood its value and potency. Everything about this story is unassuming, until you reach the end, when all hell breaks loose, but calmly and simply. And that’s how Jackson gets her readers. A little bit of discomfort here, a little bit of creepy there, but then when you see the bigger picture …mind blown. The Lottery is an extra layer of brilliance since the terror is hidden until Jackson is ready. You don’t see the problem until the end. And then, the goosebumps raise on your skin and the story sticks with you for days. Genius in every way!

Jessica’s Rating: 4 Stars
Jessica’s Review:

I read this one back in high school and really enjoyed the story.  As an adult I still enjoy it. What does that say about me???? LOL.  The Lottery is a classic short story and Shirley Jackson has influenced so many authors today. Not popular at the time it was written, The Lottery shows the mob mentality and how ‘tradition’ keeps going despite not knowing where it started and why it continues.  This short story moves at a quick pace and there are signs showing what is to come, but until you reach the end you don’t see it for what it is. 

This is one lottery you don’t want to win! I also realize that I need to read more by Shirley Jackson….


1996 TV Movie Comparison

Jessica’s Rating: 4 Stars

**I was unable to find a trailer of the movie, which is understandable as it was a tv movie.  I was able to find the movie poster**

I watched the tv movie version from 1996. I watched this as a teen and remember enjoying it and also enjoyed it as an adult. This version stars Dan Cortese (I have no idea who he is), Keri Russell (Felicity) , and William Daniels( Mr. Feeny!!!) Again, what does it say that I enjoyed this film?!?!?  I can’t help it that I enjoy dark situations that could actually happen! 

You can’t really compare this film to the short story: It takes Shirley Jackson’s story and brings it to present day (in 1996) and builds upon the story.  Jason Smith’s dad just passed away and there is a mystery to his mom’s death when he was a child. Jason’s father wanted his ashes poured over his wife’s grave, thus begins Jason’s journey to Small Town America (New Hope) and a journey he never expected, including a romance with a small town girl torn between family and tradition and an altogether possible different life. 

Despite the cheesiness of the Lifetime-esque movie, it still has aged relatively well and does the Shirley Jackson short story proud. 

Purchase Links:
short story

Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Haunting of Hill House: Book Review and TV Series Comparison

Today Kim is bringing you a book review/Netflix TV show comparison of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson!  This classic was first released 60 years ago this week!

Author: Shirley Jackson
Published: October 16, 1959
260 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Kim’s Review:
Ivan and I are weird horror freaks, that’s just the way we are. So when we find something scary, we run with it. Ivan’s brother suggested we watch The Haunting of Hill House tv show on Netflix so we did and it was amazing! Believe it or not, we did not consider it to be horror. There were definitely some scary elements, but it was mostly drama/mystery/thriller. I fell in love with Hill House and all the characters. Naturally, I wanted to read the book and see how it compared. Now, don’t get mad . . . Are you ready? I actually preferred the tv show over the book. I said DON’T get mad! Hear me out. Y’all know that I am not the deepest person in the world. Sometimes, in order for me to get things, you gotta spell it out pretty clearly. Shirley Jackson is definitely good at the horror element, it’s just that she is far more implied; whereas the tv show is more explicit in its horror.

I still love the book so much. Jackson managed to build up the tension so well that my shoulders kept creeping up towards my ears. I just kept waiting for the snap. My one real issue with the story is that I feel that the ending was a little anticlimactic, while I was reading it. Once I sat and considered for a while after, I liked it better. It also left a lot of questions, definitely on purpose and very well, but y’all know me, I like lots of answers and getting all the information and learning everything I possibly can.

Dang, this totally sounds like a negative review, but I promise it isn’t! I really enjoyed the book and I want to read it again later to see what I missed. The story itself was creepy and fascinating and the characters were all interesting and likable. Hill House is scary and you feel the “offness” on every page. I absolutely recommend it even to younger readers. A classic, chilling story that should satisfy most readers.


Netflix Comparison:

Kim’s Video Comparison:

 

Purchase Links:
Novel

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Season One of the TV Show:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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