Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – In Your Defence By Sarah Langford

Here is the good reads blurb…


‘A thoughtful, elegant book. … often as thrilling as a detective novel. ‘ – Thomas Grant, QC The Times.

Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They are stories which, but for a twist of luck, might have been yours.

With remarkable candour, Sarah describes eleven cases which reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts: these are tales of domestic fall out, everyday burglary, sexual indiscretion, and children caught up in the law. They are sometimes shocking and they are often heart-stopping. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She also shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself.

This is a strange book, it is fascinating and does provide an insight into the world of the defence system but in some ways, it is lacking. you do begin to understand that the barrister generally has very little direct contact with their clients until the day of court. They do not always know the full backstories or the details of their clients day to day existence, and I think this is part of my issue with the book.

I am a lover of true crime, I am used to being told every detail leading up to the crimes, to knowing what happened next what happens after the trial and sentencing, I am used to seeing the full story. In this book, you only see a glimpse into this world. While the stories are each different and explore numerous aspects of the defence system in the different types of court you find yourself wanting more. Yes, in one aspect that certainly demonstrates the quality of the writing and the well-selected range of cases but it also means at the end of the book you are left feeling slightly unfulfilled.

I would still recommend the book for those who are interested in the law process and getting a better understanding of how the defence system works, it would be a good book to read on the beach or on a commute as the stories are easy to put down and pick up again, but if you are expecting a true-crime style detail-packed book you will be disappointed.

I give this 3.5 stars out of 5 and as usual, will round up on Goodreads as they do not allow for half marks.


Book Signings

World Building Talk at #MAE2019

This was the first time I had ever given a live talk on a subject around writing, I do not claim to be an expert but I am on the learning journey and enjoyed sharing a little of what I have learnt so far.

I hope that in the future I will get to do more of these types of things, and any feedback will be gratefully received as long as it is constructive.

Book Reviews

Strip Back: Eric’s Story (Naked nights 0.5) By Ava Manello

As usual, let’s start with the Goodreads blurb…

Not all male strippers are the same.

Eric despised his manager’s seedy approach to stripping but he guessed it was better than no job at all. How wrong he was.

With no job, no restrictions and no girlfriend – thanks to finding her on her knees in front of someone else; Eric finally pursues his dream of setting up his own stripper troupe which would be all about the tease rather than the sleaze.

With nothing left to lose, Eric throws himself into creating the Naked Nights. It wasn’t always fun, and it definitely wasn’t easy but somehow he made it happen.

When you immerse yourself into the book world you meet some amazing authors, you also meet some fabulous people you love to bits but their books don’t do anything for you. Let me be perfectly honest, deciding to read a book by an Indie author I admire and respect is not something I do lightly but, having read one of her previous books, and enjoying it before I met her, I decided to give this one a go while it was free over the weekend.
The first thing I have to say is that I became aware very quickly that this was more of a prequel to her Naked Nights series and was a little concerned that the lack of prior knowledge of the characters would detract from my enjoyment but I needn’t have worried.
While the plot does develop at a fast pace, you still find yourself being engaged by the primary characters. You find yourself rooting for this seemingly doomed perfect romance while completely understanding the motivation behind both Eric and Christy’s reluctance to face the fact they are falling in love.
The secondary characters are well written and although we only see a brief glimpse into their lives there is just enough to leave you wanting more. Each character is well thought out, from the polar opposite dynamics of Tiny’s relationship to the dance past of Alex, and the rest of the newly formed troupe, you know that there will be plenty to engage within the following books if they are as well written as this.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fact this was a story with some red hot sex scenes thrown in, not some sex scenes with a rough plot holding it together. I found myself laughing at some of my own experiences in pubs and clubs during ‘Ladies Nights’ knowing exactly the types of sleazy strip routines to which the author was alluding.
If I had a criticism it would be that I wanted more, however, I accept that not having read book 1 I am not in a position to know what had already been revealed, well not yet anyway as I am pretty certain the next book will be making its way onto my new kindle.
I have no qualms about giving this a 5 out of 5-star review, I read it in one afternoon, once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down. If you would like to find out more about the author you can find here here
3d rendering of 5 gold stars
My Books

Ascension, Queen of Ages Trilogy: Book One


In all things there must be a balance, light can only shine if darkness exists, good can only be realised if there is evil with which to compare it.A young woman born to fulfil an ancient prophecy is trapped by fate into a world of violence, lust, love and madness. Can she sacrifice herself to save her way of life and the lives of those she cares for, even if it means betraying those she loves most?*The book does contain scenes of sexual violence and torture which some readers may find disturbing*


5.0 out of 5 stars Can I please give this more than five stars?
24 December 2017 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not the type of book I would usually read as I’m not a fan of fantasy stories as a rule but I met the author at a book signing and being as she was a new author to me I was intrigued to read some of her work and boy am I glad I did. The story is stunning, each word creating a visual in the mind that is breath taking. The characters are wonderfully thought out, each being strong in their own way, the story is well placed and seriously well thought out, there was a perfect balance between the action in the story and the peaceful moments that lead you perfectly throughout the intricacy of the web that this author wove. Gah I’m not even sure I’m making sense right now, that is how much this story has blown my mind. My only advice would be to read it and see just what I mean. Brilliant absolutely brilliant!

5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable
28 June 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, what can I say about this book? It really felt like I was being transported through time and space to another world far from my own. I was able to delve into the world that this author has built up very easily and quickly found myself immersed in this book. Extremely well written and the world-building was incredible. I really cared about the characters and followed their lives as though I was really there. Remarkable.

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and unsettling
15 May 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is fantasy set so dark ages and magic aplenty.
It is not for the faint hearted mind or those with triggers of abuse.
There are some spelling errors throughout but all told an interesting read, I look forward to the next in the series.

5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable book
22 January 2017 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written and a good story line albeit a bit grusome at times, now waiting for the rest of the books to be published.

There is strong adult content

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My Books

Escaping The Shadows


A collection of hard-hitting stories from some of the most talented of today’s authors, written for the Shenanigans @ The West Midlands Book Signing.Short stories that show the side of men which is all too often hidden.Based on subjects that include Survival, Depression, Suicide, Loss and Overcoming fear. Delve into a world that will open your eyes to the unspoken and forbidden lives of men.All proceeds will go to Calm. The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of forty-five in the UK. Surprisingly on average, in 2015 76% of all UK suicides were male – let’s work together to change this.***Disclaimer- Some of the content in this book can cause triggers for some. Also, contains profanity, erotic scenes and only suitable for readers 18+***



5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this Anthology!
2 April 2019Published on
I really enjoyed this Anthology. The proceeds go to benefit Suicide in Men, and each story tells a different side of how a man feels when he doesn’t know how to go on, and how he deals with it. I found each story inspirational and highly recommend this Anthology.

Moral Compass – Martin Tracey
This is an enjoyable short about gangsters and mafia men and the detective who wants to bring them down. But this detective also has a bit of a kinky side. There is murder, mystery and lust scattered throughout.

Heart Mended – Manda Mellett
What an amazing story of second chances. Heart’s wife passed away years prior and he thought he would never get over her. He was despondent and depressed. Can a new love heal his broken heart? Will his deceased wife give her blessing? This story will give you all the feels and I loved each and every word.

Surviving Me – Sienna Grant
What do you do when you get in over your head? This story deals with Simon and Evie, a married couple with a young child. While Evie thinks everything is okay, Simon is dealing with some things he is afraid to tell his wife for fear of losing her. He knows he should talk to her, but he just can’t. This story is about taking on too much burden and dealing with that stress. I think many people will be able to relate to this story.

My Biggest Battle Yet – Jennah Thornhill
As everyone knows, PTSD is a very real thing and this short clearly and eloquently describes it to a T. Blake had been in the service, and some things happened to him and he feels is all his fault. After meeting Gabi, a doctor, he starts to think maybe his life is worth it. This story will definitely make you understand more about PTSD. A great read.

Crashing Together – TA Andrews
When an accident ends up with Jenson in the hospital, he felt he had nothing to live for. Until he meets Helen, a young woman also going thru pain from an accident. He is miserable and mean to everyone around him until she shows him life really isn’t all that bad. I really enjoyed the interaction between these characters and you will too.

Staring Into The Abyss – Paul Acton
This story really hits you in the heart. The story of Steve, whose upbringing left him scarred in the mind, is a compelling story of abuse. When Steve wants to end his life, he meets someone who changes his life. This story will keep you captivated from beginning to end.

Explosive Love – Toni Bolton
When Josh returns home from the service after being at war, he is angry and intense but doesn’t know why. He comes from a military family, and PTSD is not real according to his Father. When he meets Pat, a beautiful Veterinarian, he feels maybe they can have a relationship, but he knows he needs to get better first. This story tells a true depiction of a military person coming to terms that he needs to change his life. An enjoyable read.

5.0 out of 5 stars great stories
7 April 2019Published on
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
2 April 2019Published on

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My Books



The contributors were asked to write a poem based on the book cover image. Unsurprisingly, many of the poems featured are dominated by the elements. The writers touch upon various subjects, however and readers are sure to discover a flavour they will enjoy. All proceeds of this collection will be shared between homeless charities both in the UK and US, reflecting the international collaboration behind this project.



9 February 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

9 February 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars A place to belong
15 February 2019Published on
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

5.0 out of 5 starsSimply Amazing!
17 March 2019Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
As always Sarah brings together a list of authors worthy of a great collection. This anthology is not only a snippet of what each author can create, but a window into their feelings. Again, well done, hope there is more to come.

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My Books

Poems To My Younger Self


“A lovely collection I will read again and again. And for such a great cause is a bonus!” This anthology asks a lot of questions, and answers many, too. What wisdom would you impart to your younger self? Or would you not do anything differently? Is there anything to pre-warn yourself of? Or does everything happen for a reason? Hear from various poetic voices as they write to their younger selves. If only we knew then, what we know now. **All proceeds of this book will be donated to the MAKE A WISH UK charity**



28 March 2018

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

31 March 2018

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16 February 2018

Format: Paperback

17 March 2018

Format: Paperback

21 April 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

15 March 2018

Format: Paperback

16 February 2018

Format: Paperback

8 March 2018

Format: Paperback

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