Good Deeds Challenge Year 2, Week 11

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

This week I’ve been doing the following;

June 29th – Just sorting out the book and readers for the challenge as we head to the last day of posts. Trying to get at least one reader for every book.

June 30th – My morning helping at school, and a final push for the book review challenge. Posting out lists of readers to authors.

July 1st – So just when you thought you could pause for breath, I thought I’d launch a Book Review Team to help authors reach a wider audience. A relaxed team, free of charge to join with the importance being writing and posting those reviews. For more details click on the rose widget on my sidebar. Just sorting out finer details now but we already have lots of interest from both authors and readers.

Online issues of Fleet Life and Elvetham Heath Directory went out today.

Here are the featured books;

Business As Usual by E. L. Lindley

Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler

Derek’s In Trouble by Mac Black

Secrets of The Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

and  The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan 

The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond

Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

The Manila Strangler by Steven Donahue

and An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

July 2nd – Book reviews are coming in from readers who took up my book review challenge already, there are some speedy readers out there. I’m posting them on my blog as they come in. Went over to my Mum’s and fed her 3 week old chicks at lunchtime as they were out. Was chief navigator and tour guide to friends as we went out to a countryside pub for a meal. Put an extra tip in the restaurant bill to cover any trip ups in my Kindness challenge.

July 3rd – Dashed to the supermarket to do the weekly shop, picked up litter in the car park and bought some cereal to go in their Charity Food Bank collection. Just about to launch the first Rosie’s Book Review Team booklist.

A long evening walk and more litter picking.

July 4th – The first book review from my new Book Review Team has come in already, I will be posting Dani’s Review today as you are reading this (Sunday). Back to Friday, went out for a walk to check out a closed footpath and picked up litter along the way.

July 5th – Added another book to the Book Review Teams’ list. Any one who would like to join can check out the link I’m in a whirl wind of admin collating books, book reviews, guest author pieces, adding books to the Book Review Team list and reviewers to another. I’m sending book review requests to authors and drafting up lots of book review posts. It all seems really popular to thank you everyone for all your support.

Sent out details of children’s books I’ve read to a student who is looking to do a project on children’s books over the summer.


July Issues Of Fleet Life And Elvetham Heath Directory – Book Reviews

It’s that time of month again when my book reviews are published in the two magazines that I write for. This month’s Fleet Life has my reviews on Page 6. For an on-line version go to click on the online directory and once its loaded turn to page 6.

Here are the featured books;

Fleet Life July

Business As Usual by E. L. Lindley

Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler

Derek’s In Trouble by Mac Black

Secrets of The Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

and  The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan 

For The Elvetham Heath Directory go to click on the online directory and once it has loaded turn to page 6.

July Ehd

Here are the featured books;

The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond

Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

The Manila Strangler by Steven Donahue

and An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns


Guest Author Steven Donahue

Today our guest is Steven Donahue author of yesterday’s book The Manila Strangler, here is a link to the post if you missed it.

Steven Donahue

Let’s find out more about Steven.

1) Where is your home town?

I was born in Philadelphia, PA, in the USA, but I was raised in the nearby town of Warminster.

2) How long have you been writing?

I started a novel in 1990 that really went nowhere. I have been writing since then. My first published novel, Amanda Rio, which examines domestic violence, was released in 2004.

3) Is murder mystery your favourite genre for writing?

I write in several genres, including general fiction, science fiction, historical fiction and murder mysteries. It’s hard to pick a favourite.

4) What was the one idea which sparked off “The Manila Strangler”?

It was my wife Dawn’s idea for me to write a mystery novel. I came up with the plot and title while we were grocery shopping one day. It’s funny where inspiration hits.

5) Can you tell the readers a bit about Pablo Ramirez and why Karen dislikes him so much?

Pablo Ramirez is a local gangster who wants to become Karen’s boxing promoter. Karen’s father was a police officer who spent much of his career trying to bring down Ramirez’s organization. Karen followed in her father’s footsteps, becoming a Philadelphia police officer and trying to put an end to Ramirez’s operations. However, she lost that job due to the many complaints of police brutality against her. Despite their past, the gangster still wants to work with her, while she still wants to bring him down.

6) What’s the hardest part about writing the twists and turn in the plot?

The real challenge is to keep the reader engaged with believable events, while providing clues and not giving too much away.

7) I liked the fact that there were lots of characters that I was suspicious of, did any of them change their role during the writing?

Writing involves a lot of editing and tweaking. The suspects evolved much the way the other characters in the book did. The more editing I did, the more refined they all became.

8) Are you looking to make a series of murder mysteries involving Karen Thorn?

Yes, I do plan to write more Karen Thorn stories. I already have ideas for the next book.

9) What are you writing at the moment? Do you have an expected publication date?

I am about 1/3 of the way through a new historical novel about the Holocaust. I’ll shop that around when I’m finished.

10) Where can readers find out more about you?

The Manila Strangler

I have several sites for my books. They are:

Also find a copy here from or

Thank you Steven and Good Luck with the next book.

The Manila Strangler by Steven Donahue

The Manila StranglerThe Manila Strangler by Steven Donahue

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Manila Strangler is set in Philadelphia. Karen Thorn is a boxer and ex-cop, she’s now a private investigator after too many complaints about her aggressive dealings of suspects. After the murder of high profile artist Vicki Southfield, Karen is hired by Vicki’s father to help solve the case. But he insists she’s partnered with Detective Sean O’Brian, and they have to put aside their past relationship so that they can work on the case.

The killer has left very few clues, except the number 1 on the cheek of his victim. It’s a clue that he’s a serial killer. They follow up lead after lead which doesn’t get them very far until the next body is found, this one with the number 2 on her cheek. The FBI get involved and tussle for ownership of the case, whilst reporter Nick Cargo seems to be suspiciously present at too many places for comfort.

Victim number three throws a possible line of connection to the investigators, but they are still chasing clues. As well as the murder case Karen is training for a boxing match and ruffling the feathers of Pablo Ramirez. The book is fast paced and has lots of twists and turns before the murderer is found, a good quick read.

Find a copy here from or

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Steven will be our guest author tomorrow here on the blog, come back and find out more about his writing.

Year 2 Good Deeds Week 3

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year.

New Good DeedsThis week I’ve been doing the following;

May 4th – There’s a lovely bit of a buzz for my new page on Editing, Publishing and More I hadn’t realised it might be quite popular.

Our bird box with its camera and our Blue-tit family which I began to tell everyone about last week has had several people chatting too.

May 5th – May Bank Holiday today so things are a bit quiet, not helped by having no internet for most of the day. I was able to add book reviewer “A Woman’s Wisdom” to the growing resources for writing as mentioned above. I think I’ll rename the title of the page, I’m still playing with it all. Sent the eldest child off with edible goodies when she met up with friends.

May 6th – Yesterday’s lack of internet went downhill , when within an hour of its return the whole area lost all its electricity. 5 hours later we were connected back up by a huge generator which is parked outside our back gate and is powering the whole estate. It’s noisy but at least we have electric. Finally got my review of Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler written, and it will appear here on the blog early June. Let a gentleman go before me in the supermarket queue as he only had one item. Added 2 more people to the page that I’m now going to call Resources for writers, Editing, publishing and more.

May 7th – Stuck at home today with a sick child, I have agreed to review The Manila Strangler by Steven Donahue it will join a small queue of books that I have at the moment. Today on the blog there was a guest author interview with Jack Croxall click here if you missed it

May 8th – Getting back to normal today, picked up litter. WE HAVE BABIES! The blue-tits are starting to hatch this evening. So far we have 3 out of 7.

May 9th – There is a bundle of grey fluff in the blue-tit nest so not sure how many we’ve got to, with the glimpses we’re getting. Lots of activity and mad feeding going on.

Dropped some books off at the charity shop, picked up some litter. Friends came over for a Spring-watch session on the TV. We watched a grainy grey picture of tiny fledglings stumbling about the nest, climbing over each other and the un-hatched eggs, the Dad coming in with caterpillars so huge he didn’t know how to get them into his offspring’s mouths and the mother bird taking them from him and mashing them up for the babies in her own mouth. Nature is so amazing.

May 10th – A bit of IT help for my Mum this morning. Picked up litter on the way home. Finished reading The Hollow Heart by Adreinne Vaughan and sent off my review. Started the second book in the series, A change of Heart. Good deeds received ; Off out for a 50th birthday party tonight and being picked up by friends.