October Editions of Fleet Life and EHD #Bookreviews

I am lucky enough to write a set of book reviews for two local magazines both with on-line versions.

Oct Fleet

This month’s books in Fleet Life can be found at http://www.fleetlife.org.uk click on the on-line directory and turn to page 6 where you’ll fine the following books;

The Shell by Tony Riches

Wild Water by Jan Ruth

The Road To Yesterday by Randy Mixter

Round and Round by Terry Tyler

Beneath The Surface by Mike Martin

Books featured in The Elvetham Heath Directory with it’s online version at http://www.ehd.org.uk , click on the on-line directory and turn to page 6 for;


The Mystery Box by Eva Pohler

Reckless Recon by Rinelle Grey

My GRL by John Howell

The Scrolls of Scion by TJ Therien

Manic Mondays by Michaela Weaver

Guest Author Tony Riches


Today our guest is Tony Riches author of yesterday’s book “The Shell”, here is a link to the post if you missed it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5uP

Tony Riches

Let’s find out more about Tony.

Author interview with Tony Riches:


1) Where is your home town?

I live in the by the coast in Pembrokeshire, rural West Wales, UK.

2) How long have you been writing?

I started writing for a wide range of magazines in my twenties, then had my first successful non-fiction book, which became an Amazon best-seller.

3) What was the one idea behind the writing of “The Shell”?

My wife and I found ourselves in a very dangerous situation, alone on a remote beach while on holiday in Mombasa. On the flight home I started thinking about what could have happened and decided it would make a great story.

4) What safety precautions did Lucy and Steve ignore whilst on holiday?

Like we did, my fictional couple were blissfully unaware of the dangers – until it was too late. We were told to ask for an escort at all times, and not to go exploring the beach away from the hotel.

5) What is a dhow?

A dhow is a primitive but effective wooden sailing boat with a distinctive triangular sail used by the local people to fish along the coast of the Indian Ocean. They are a common sight on holiday in Mombasa.

6) Who was Lucy kidnapped by and why?

My heroine Lucy was kidnapped by members of one of the many armed gangs roaming the coast of northern Kenya, particularly close to the border with Somalia. It was ‘opportunistic’ as they saw a chance to make a fortune from holding her for ransom.

7) Where were the kidnappers taking Lucy?

The region to the north east of Kenya is very hard to police, with vast expanses of desert and jungle which offered good hiding places. The kidnappers were taking her to one of their remote camps, where she could be held indefinitely.

8) What was the importance of keeping the kidnapping low profile and the media reporting controlled?

The value of the tourist industry to Kenya is immense, so the authorities prefer to keep any incidents low profile while they can. The British Consulate also has a policy of not supporting paying of ransoms to kidnappers, so this is sometimes done in secret.

9) You set aside your book when you first wrote it, why?

While I was writing The Shell another couple were attacked on the beach. The wife was kidnapped for ransom and sadly the husband was murdered trying to save her. I was more than half way through writing the novel and didn’t want anyone to think I was exploiting their misfortune, so I put it on hold. (A ransom was eventually paid to the kidnappers and the woman was safely returned.)

10) Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

More information about The Shell and my other books can be found here: http://tonyrichesauthor.wordpress.com/.   I also have a blog, The Writing Desk at http://tonyriches.blogspot.co.uk/ and am on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches


The Shell Video Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZy_4X4_9BY

Tony Riches is a full time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, one of the most unspoilt areas of the UK. His first novel, Queen Sacrifice was written after looking into the early history of Wales and seeing the parallels to a game of chess, with kings and queens, bishops and castles – and the people becoming pawns in their civil wars. When not writing Tony enjoys sea and river kayaking. He also enjoys hiking and plans to complete the full 186 miles of the Pembrokeshire Coast path which passes fifty-eight beautiful beaches and fourteen harbours. You can find him on Twitter @tonyriches and his new Facebook Author Page

The Shell





Find a copy of the book here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Thank you Tony, your book is a stark warning to all tourists.

The Shell by Tony Riches

The ShellThe Shell by Tony Riches

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly the book cover is very striking, the eye looking deeply out at you, connects to the book in several places. You never know just who is watching you. This story is about the kidnapping of Lucy a British tourist on holiday in Mombasa, Kenya with her husband Steve. They ignore the safety warnings about not leaving the hotel beach and sadly are the victims of desperate people who see rich westerners as an easy money source.

Although the British Government policy is not to pay ransoms, I’m sure any family who have a member kidnapped will do anything to get them safely back. This book resonates with many actual kidnapping cases in war-torn and dangerous parts of the world.

Lucy is taken first by boat and then lorry towards to border with Somalia. It is believed she is taken by rebels sympathetic to the local Pokomo tribes. The Pokomo are a settled agricultural people who constantly fight over land and water with the nomadic cattle-herding Orma peoples. Mixed with this the political unrest caused by enforced borders and there is a ticking time-bomb in the whole area.

Lucy’s husband was knocked unconscious in the kidnap attack and wakes on the beach to find Lucy gone. With the help of the hotel staff, the local police and the British Consulate the search for Lucy begins. Lucy is taken on a frightening journey and must rely on her inner strength and common sense to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself to her.

The main kidnapping story is supported by a lot of back story in the form of day dreams, memories and dreams from both Steve and Lucy. I did enjoy reading about the tribal conflicts and how the peoples of Kenya lived and dealt with everyday incidents. So much of the real people’s lives are lost in news reports which focus on the violence and horror. Tourism brings much money to poor countries but it also brings new problems which affect the balance of nature and those who live a simpler life.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Find a copy of the book here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Tony will join us tomorrow on the blog as our guest author do come back and find out more about him and his writing.

Good Deeds Challenge Year 2, Week 12

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;

July 6th – Busy drafting up book review posts as they come in from the recent Book Review Challenge and my Book Review Team. Added another book to the Book Review Team booklist. Don’t forget anyone can request to join up at any-time. There are no minimum  or maximum rules as to the number of books you read. All we ask is that you read a book within a month of receiving it and you write a review which you will post on at least 2 sites. These can include your blog, Goodreads, Amazon etc. Plus you send me a copy of the review and I’ll post it here on the blog with full recognition going to the reviewer. I have a badge you can use on your posts too.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

July 7th – My morning volunteering at the local school. Then more work on book review drafts. Having serious talks with Stephanie Hurt about this years Romancing September Tour. We will soon be announcing the details, the format will be the same as last year, 2 posts per day either side of the Atlantic, double posts, double exposure. Writers of romance should really put their work forward for this.

July 8th – Ran out of time at work today, but had plenty more work to complete, so brought the work home and finished it later. This will help keep us on top of things, well maybe! Drafted up my review of Manic Mondays by Michaela Weaver ready to post on the blog later in the month.

July 9th – Picked up litter, provided the cricket teas for this evenings game and picked up lots more litter at the cricket ground.

July 10th – Dug out the electric sander for my brother-in-law who needed to borrow the item for the house he is building. Sorted out books for the book review team. I’m reading “How to Promote and Market your book” by Madi Preda it is full of really useful tips, ideas, templates and case studies. Plus it gets you to think about promoting yourself, not just your book and looking at the whole process as running a small business.

July 11th – Today’s book post was for a book called “The Silence of Juliet Mann” by Joanne Phillips, all profits for the book are going to the British Stammering Association, please do check it out http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5h3

Caught up quickly with a good friend providing a well earned cuppa, raced off for more cricket and picked up more litter on the village green. Liaising with all the authors and book reviewers is pretty hectic, still I’m enjoying it all I’m just not getting much of my own reading done.

July 12th – Sent an author some advice about pitching her book to reviewers as it needed some work. Wrote a newsletter for the book review team to let them still feel loved. Am reading The Shell by Tony Riches a book about a kidnapping in Kenya.