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High Fire By Eoin Colfer

High Fire By Eoin Colfer‘High Fire’ is the latest book by Eoin Colfer.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him. An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation. Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp.

Fans of fantasy should definitely look into this book of crooked sheriffs, angry dragons as well as an unfortunate teenage boy.

When Squid witnesses a real life dragon with an attitude called Vern, his life changes in many ways as he adjusts to being a carer for the dragon as well protect himself and his mother from Sherriff Hook, a crooked police officer who is a bit obsessed with Squid’s mother. But when Hook witnesses Squid and Vern together, he’s determined to make life miserable for the fantastical creature and teenage boy.

This book is quite a colourful and fun story with reactive and complex characters that immediately stir a reaction in the book. Squid is the unfortunate hero in the story, a son of a single mother who works all hours to support them, he does odd jobs for all the unsavoury characters in the small swamp. He’s quick witted and resilient and quite the character that you instantly warm too. I loved Vern, an outspoken dragon with a love for the film ‘Flashdance’ as well as lust for Martini’s, he’s quick tempered with a sharp tongue who was not at all impressed with how dragons were portrayed in ‘Game of Thrones’. Hook was a malicious character, sexist with a terrible attitude, he’s instantly dislikeable and I found with each scene he was in, my skin crawled with loathing for him.

If you’re looking for something a bit to read I would certainly recommend this book, filled with fantasy and humour this book was a fascinating story. The dialogue was witty and the plot line was skilfully written with plenty of drama throughout. The array of characters in the book was equally good and I really did like Vern and his hate and distrust for humanity. The location of the book in the deep South of America was sweltering and claustrophobic and was a great setting for the story.

Weird with a capital W, this urban fantasy is a gothic tale set in a sweaty swamp with a host of intriguing characters. ‘HighFire’ is a joyously entertaining and vibrantly written off beat story, filled with witty one liners, ridiculous scenarios, it’s a fun read for people of all ages.

You can buy ‘High Fire’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 28th January 2020.

Noireland – The Best Crime Festival In Town

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

It’s fair to say that the first Noireland International Crime Fiction Festival went off with a bang. With a packed programme and a well thought out schedule that made sure no one missed out on a precious moment, there was plenty of food for thought for the aspiring author as well as book lover.

Set against the backdrop of the Europa Hotel, with its mirrored walls and winding staircases, it was the perfect setting for this atmospheric festival, slap bang in the centre of Belfast.

On the Friday, I participated in workshops with authors, Gerard Brennan and Claire McGowan and both workshops, were informative and interactive as we engaged in some light writing exercises as well as given the opportunity to question published authors.

The event kicked off on Friday night with a ‘Line Of Duty’ panel and Strabane author, Brian McGilloway quizzed the shows creator Jed Mercurio, actor, Adrian Dunbar and the show’s producer Stephen Wright about the success of the Northern Ireland show.

Over the weekend, there were talks catered for everyone who has an interest in crime and varied from the research and ideas of genre, as well as some added humour to lighten the dark subject.

Between each talk there was ample time and opportunity to browse the compact bookshop as well as chat to the authors and get books signed.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of Noireland. It was wonderful to see such an exciting range of talent from across the water and to meet the people who have written for books and screen. With panels of authors featuring some of my favourite authors such as Ali Land, Liz Nugent and Sophie Hannah, as well as a packed out rooms for the events featuring the people behind ‘Line of Duty’ and Aidan Gillen.

It was also exhilarating to be amongst such talent and to be able to listen about their own writing experiences as well as meet other like-minded people, who like myself are also tentatively starting their own writing journey’s.

One particular moment that stood out for me, was when Brian McGilloway asked me if I was a writer. I was hesitant with my response as I am trying to be and I’m actively working on something at the minute, so I told him that I was trying to and his reply stayed with me all weekend.

“You are a writer, even if you’re not published”

As an aspiring author, I found the festival to be an absolute fountain of information, packed with support and advice. I parted ways with Crime Noireland on a high, loaded with books, inspiration and a lot lighter purse.

A monumental thank you and well done to David Torrans, his staff from No Alibis Bookshop (the best bookshop in Northern Ireland) as well as all the volunteers who were all so friendly and approachable. They did such an amazing job of organising a fabulous event and gave book lovers and writers an unique opportunity to network and engage.

With a promise of another festival next year, I’m already counting down to 2018. Hopefully by then, I will have finished all the books that I bought at this year’s event!

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

If you’re a fan of the crime genre, whether you enjoy reading the books or aspire to be an author, then Belfast’s debut crime festival is a must attendance.

Noireland (great name by the way) will be running from 27-29th October and taking place in the Europa Hotel.

Organised by the people behind the amazing bookshop ‘No Alibis’ which is situated in Botanic in Belfast, this festival celebrates the island’s love of crime fiction.

The 3-day event will be showcasing the amazing talent emerging from Ireland currently as well as some of the popular authors from all over the world, such as Sophie Hannah, Arne Dahl and Benjamin Black, to name just a few.

Noireland International Crime was organised to provide a platform for the wealth of crime writing talent emerging from Ireland, showcasing it alongside some of the biggest international names in crime and thriller writing.

With a jam-packed programme of great authors plus a selection of entertaining events, this debut festival is an exciting introduction to Northern Ireland’s love of all things crime and suspense.

As a very new and independent organisation they rely on partnerships, sponsors, donations, ticket sales and volunteers to support their work.

If you are interested in partnering with Noireland or sponsoring them you can contact them at info@noireland.com

For more information and updates about the events plus tickets, go to Noireland.com