I would like to say a huge thank you to my SquadPod ladies (you know who you are) for organising this wonderful little review bash for this warmly romantic book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Boldwood books for allowing me to read and review a digital copy. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Gillian Harvery for creating such a warm-hearted and loving book. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
It was just supposed to be a holiday, but could it become the second chance she didn’t know she needed?
Life isn’t quite going as planned for Katy.With her only daughter living in Australia and a husband who has asked for a break, she is suddenly at a loss.
Her best friends Sam, Vicky and Ivy have always been there for her through thick and thin and they’re not about to leave her all alone now. Whisking her away to glorious France for a last minute retreat is the perfect escape, and just what Katy needs to get her life back under control.
As Katy unwinds in the beautiful French countryside, surrounded by her friends, the pain of her past slowly begins to melt away under the warm summer sun. Will this rest give Katy a new lease on life and help her win back her husband? Or could there be a new love on the horizon where she least expects it?
This book is a lovely, heartwarming and gentle book about finding yourself again and being brave enough to reach out for what you want and what you deserve. This is a love story, but I feel that isn’t the main part of the story. We are pulled in Katy (the main character’s) orbit from the first page and we follow her and her friends antics throughout this novel. For me the main thrust of the story is for Katy to love and find herself again, as her marriage to a somewhat controlling, gaslighting and just plain obnoxious man who feels he’s entitled to ground her down and then leave her but also wanting to know he can come back to her… for me he deserves a slap (I will not mention his name not just because of spoilers but because men like him don’t need their names mentioned or any attention really). I loved Katy’s friends and how each tried to rally her and let her know that she can be a much stronger and better woman than she ever was with him.
I loved also the setting and the idea of an artistic retreat. And yes there’s the romance between her and her new man (sexy French man ofc 😉) but I feel that she’s the one that realises that to feel free and happy is to love oneself and find herself more than falling in love. This is one book that really made me think of my mum, (don’t worry dad is not like the main awful man… thank god) but how she felt about herself and how we as her family members only saw her… I realise mum is so much more than just being there for me or my sister or cook/partner to my dad but someone with secrets and hidden desires and yes unrealised dreams… I felt closer to my mum reading this one and it is a special book.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Gillian Harvey is a freelance journalist and the author of two well-reviewed women’s fiction novels published by Orion. She has lived in Limousin France for the past twelve years, from where she derives the inspiration and settings for her books. Her first title for Boldwood A Year at the French Farmhouse will be published in September 2022.
I hope you have enjoyed this lovely and heartwarming tale and if you are intrigued by this little review, you can find a copy in Waterstones, and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a wonderful and thrilling book’s tour. I would like to say a huge thank you to HarperCollins for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this gripping book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Jane Casey for creating such a gripping, thrilling and yet also a humane and dare I say it romantic suspense book, intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
At first glance, Jellicoe Close seems to be a perfect suburban street – well kept houses, with pristine lawns, neighbours chatting over garden fences, children playing together.
But there are dark secrets hiding behind the neat front doors, hidden dangers that include a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing.
It’s up to DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent to uncover the truth. Posing as a couple, they move into the Close, blurring the lines between professional and personal as never before.
And while Maeve and Josh try to gather the evidence they need, they have no idea of the danger they face – because someone in Jellicoe Close has murder on their mind.
As soon as I read the first (digital) page I was hooked. The characters are sharp, vivid and yes boisterous and noisy and incredibly sharp/tongue witted. There is some past between the two detectives who are sent in undercover to get at the truth, Maeve and Josh and I am sure that at some point they will get together. But the main focus is on what is happening in the Close to generate such a covert operation?
As soon as they arrive they are greeted warmly by everyone, apart from a certain few who either feel intimidated by the presence of Josh or have sinister motivations of their own as they play their own covert operation on the new couple. This is such a brilliant and masterful book, I didn’t see who it could be until the very end and even then there were still more twists.
This is a brilliant and intriguing novel and it’s one that had me trying to puzzle out the main perpetrator and hoping the two would see they are meant to be (sighs sadly I am not sure that will happen… oh well) I also haven’t read the previous books in this series, but it’s written without giving too much of the past away but enough to stoke my appetite into understanding their pasts so this can be read as a stand-alone but if you have read the series it’s just as good if not better in my opinion.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Jane Casey was born and brought up in Dublin. A former editor, she has written twelve crime novels for adults and three for teenagers. Her books have been international bestsellers, critically acclaimed for their realism and accuracy. The Maeve Kerrigan series has been nominated for many awards: in 2015 Jane won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know and Irish Crime Novel of the Year for After the Fire. In 2019, Cruel Acts was chosen as Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was a Sunday Times bestseller. The Killing Kind was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick in 2021, and is being adapted for television. Jane lives in southwest London with her husband, who is a criminal barrister, and their two children.
I hope you have enjoyed this thrilling and gripping tale of secret lives in what should be a perfect suburban life and how we really don’t know who is behind the friendly face of our neighbours. If you love the sound of this book and want a copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising this thrilling and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Point Blank Crime (Magpie) for allowing me to read a digital copy of this intriguing book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Julia Bartz for creating such a tense and twisted plot, you were never quite sure who to trust or believe. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A book deal to die for.
Five attendees are selected for a month-long writing retreat at the remote estate of Roza Vallo, the controversial high priestess of feminist horror. Alex, a struggling writer, is thrilled.
Upon arrival, they discover they must complete an entire novel from scratch, and the best one will receive a seven-figure publishing deal. Alex’s long -extinguished dream now seems within reach.
But then the women begin to die.
Trapped, terrified yet still desperately writing, it is clear, there is more than a publishing deal at stake at Blackbriar Estate. Alex must confront her own demons – and finish her novel – to save herself.
As soon as I picked this book (ok kindle) up I was hooked from the first page, it grips you and compelled you to read on. I found myself unsure at first whether I liked the main character or not and when we are first introduced to each of the women or contestants (if you’d rather) I wasn’t sure whether I particularly liked any of them. But as the story progressed and you get yourself immersed with each character and see their strengths and foibles you find yourself gradually wanting them to come out of this alive or at least in one piece.
I have never been to a retreat and honestly after reading this am not sure whether I would (joke am sure these author retreats are fine and no one has done it to quite these lengths…. Hopefully, joke) . But that aside I found myself captivated and at once freaked out by this isolated and out of the way place that is at first look very nice and normal looking until the fun (hell) begins and the retreat starts to feel a bit like the shining hotel but on a bad day and with a caretaker who’s more like the lady in Misery(yes I am comparing this to Stephen King and to me the creepy factor is definitely giving off his vibe).
I enjoyed this book, but I wasn’t able to sympathise with many of the characters I found most of them a bit selfish and a bit too sharp and hard for my liking but that’s just my personal opinion and the book is executed to perfection and that ending wow… I was completely surprised by it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of creepiness and thrilling chills to their murder retreat novels.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Julia Bartz is a Brooklyn-based writer and practicing therapist. She is the author of the popular Psychology Today blog ‘My Pleasure: The New Science of Sex, Dating, and Self-Care’ and previously ran the Brooklyn literary blog ‘BookStalker’. Her fiction has been published in the South Dakota Review, FictionDaily and InDigest Magazine and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The Writing Retreat is her first novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this suspenseful, disturbing, gripping and thrilling novel about what seems to good to be true might just be a bit more than you bargained for. If you are wanting a copy you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Rosie Margesson and Wildfire Books for allowing me to read and review this utterly brilliant, wonderful and enchanting and mind blowing book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Meg Clothier, for creating such vivid, strong and complex characters who are based on some historically famous families (dynasties) in Renaissance Florence. It’s also about the power of women and that they should never be silenced or used for harm and at the same time it’s about the power of books. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Beatrice is the Convent’s Librarian. For years, she has shunned the company of her sisters, finding solace only with her manuscripts.
Then, one carnival night, two women, bleeding and stricken, are abandoned outside the convent’s walls. Moments from death, one of them presses something into Beatrice’s hands: a bewitching book whose pages have a dangerous life of their own.
But men of the faith want the book destroyed, and a zealous preacher has tracked it to her door. Her sister’s lives – or her obsession. Beatrice must decide.
The book’s voice is growing stronger.
An ancient power uncoils.
Will she dare to listen?
I am not sure how I can possibly review this wonderful, atmospheric, mesmerising and magical book, without coming across as being slightly mad or hysterical. Perhaps a bit of both. This is one book that will make you want to not just visit Florence (Italy) it to soak up its atmosphere, the culture and devour the food and wine. Reading The book of eve made me feel like I was walking, breathing and living in a place that was at once familiar but also slightly different. The period in which the events in this book take place is what we know as Renaissance Florence during the time of Peak Medici, obviously in this book names of historic figures have been changed but there is an outline on which the “Duke Stelleri” and all the other people are based historically on, including Brother Abramo who I feel is based on Savaronela the fiery priest who made Florence beg on her knees for a time till they got fed up with it of course.
I loved all the characters especially some of the sisters, though for me I found Sister Beatrice one character a bit difficult to like, she came across as being a bit of a child, naive, selfish and almost cruel, I also wasn’t sure on Sister Angelica (but I think you are meant to) but what I loved about Beatrice is her devotion (obsession) with books for me I think we would have got on. This is a bewitching tale about finding the power within us and also the power of finding a voice against the wills and force of men who want to control women for their own ends and find women with minds and hearts a terrifying thing.
This is one of those books that leave you spell bound and captivated even after you have finished with it. I can highly recommend this to anyone who loves Italy, Renaissance, magic, strong women and faith and of course love and books. If you haven’t already buy this book now!!! Well when you can.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 ( or that yummy custard/rice pudding tart that is a delicacy of Tuscany) seriously I could eat a whole box of those.
Meg Clothier studied Classics at Cambridge, sailed from England to Alaska, and worked as a journalist in London and Moscow. She now lives and writes in Somerset. The Book of Eve is her third novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this brilliant evocative and mind blowing book which captures everything about medieval Italy, both the good and the bad and yet also brings a lot of hope too. I fell in love with this book and I hope you do too. If you want a copy you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a wonderful and lovely book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this intriguing book. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Eva Rice, for creating such a genuine, moving and heartwarming tale, that touches on grief and mental health and how the little things can break into our life and open our eyes to the world and though some people have gone it’s ok to move on and live your life. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
It’s 1990, the Happy Mondays are in the charts, a 15 year-old called Kate Moss is on the cover of the Face magazine, and Julia Roberts wears thigh boots for the poster for a new movie called Pretty Woman.
February Kingdom is nineteen years old when she is knocked sideways by family tragedy. Then one evening in May she finds an escaped canary in her kitchen and it sparks a glimmer of hope in her. With the help of the bird called Yellow, Feb starts to feel her way out of her own private darkness, just as her aunt embarks on a passionate and all-consuming affair with a married American drama teacher.
This is one that’s a fairly gentle read, but at the same time will hit you with it’s emotional impact. We have a girl going through grief and struggling to find any joy or meaning to face the day and live her life after a hugely tragic and shocking event. Until one day she finds an escaped canary in the house, mainly the kitchen, and that’s when her life starts surge back with colour. February feels incredibly fragile and yet is also stubbornly persistent in following where this canary came from and why it’s at their house and at this time?… which is a good thing as it forces her to look at herself and where she is in relation to others and also shines a light on the people who are trying to love her and make her feel better.
Whilst she is battling her demons (so to speak) her aunt is also coming out of her shell and exploring a rather dramatic affair with a drama teacher, this puts a whole new level of tension and stress on the relationship between them, though it should affect February in a bad way, but due to how she’s starting to come back to the present and finding that she does have the strength to do things that a few weeks ago would leave her breathless and weak, that marriages and relationships are not always static they can be flexible but also breakable.
I quite enjoyed this novel and found it quite moving at certain points in the story. It’s one that touches you and makes you empathise with the characters through what they are experiencing, I also loved reminiscing on the 90s nostalgia which made me think of where I would be during the action of the novel. I would recommend this lovely book to anyone.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Eva Rice has written 5 novels and is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets- a post-war coming-of-age story that was runner-up in the 2006 Richard and Judy Book of the Year. A 10th anniversary edition of the novel was published in 2015 with a foreword by Miranda Hart. The Lost Art Of Keeping Secrets is currently being developed by Fudge Park (creators of The Inbetweeners) and Moonage Pictures (Pursuit of Love) as a major new TV series. Eva has toured with bands since her early twenties. She has written the music and lyrics for Harriet a musical based on an early Jilly Cooper novel due to open in 2023. She has a geek-like fascination with pop music, and her party trick is recalling chart positions.
I hope you have enjoyed this little review of a moving and heartwarming book about grief, mental health and the power of little things that can make big changes in your life. If you are looking for a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a magical and enchanting tour for this ethereal book. I would like to say a huge thank you to HarperVoyager for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book and I am extremely grateful. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Amèlie Wen Zhao, for creating an enchanting tale of courage, magic, myths, legends and of course heartache, betrayal and a kingdom in need of saving. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out more.
In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to its forgotten past – and the demons that sleep at its heart….
Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by one the Elantian colonisers gave her. She spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before her she died.
No one can see the mysterious mark – until the night Zen appears at the tea house and saves her life.
Zen is a practitioner, one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumoured to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden at all costs.
Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destinies remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.
As soon as I picked up this book and read the first page I was enchanted and hooked. The story enthralled me with its wonderful cast of characters and gorgeous, descriptions of an old land and a land that has also been conquered by new rulers leaving the remnants of a lost kingdom in tatters and with its people subjugated. We follow a young girl, who’s mysterious mark leads her searching to uncover what it means and why her mother burnt it into her arm, Lan is one of those characters you just instantly bond with, her fighting spirit and tenacity against all the odds means you are willing her to get out of scrapes which she manages to fall into.
We also meet Zen, a mysterious and enigmatic boy who’s abilities are like those of the practitioners of old, magicians who gained powers through dealings with a demon, one that was supposedly forbidden and been lost to time… until now. We watch as these two meet and travel together to find a way to get rid of their enemy and heal their land, but dangers and betrayals lie in wait for these two.
I loved all the other characters too, especially what would be described as a mystic or guru, and some rather tough talking fighters and some grumpy scholars. I loved the sense of being led down paths which the author does magnificently well and where every page there is a surprise or a twist you never really saw coming.
I would highly recommend this stunning and beautiful book that is both heartbreaking and yet also heartwarming. I would urge you to buy this book asap!!!
Rating: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Amèlie Wen Zhao (赵雯）is the New York Times bestselling author of the Chinese xiānxiá fantasy Song of Silver, Flame Like Night and the Blood Heir trilogy. She was born in Paris and grew up in Beijing, where she spent her days reenacting tales of legendary heroes, ancient kingdoms, and lost magic at her grandmother’s courtyard house. She attended college in the United States and now resides in New York City, working as a finance professional by day and fantasy author by night. In her spare time, she loves to travel with her family in China, where she’s determined to walk the rivers and lakes of old just like the practitioners in her novels do.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a land filled with mysticism, magic, myths and legends past and present. This modern fusion of Chinese Myths and legends is one that will stay with you in your heart. If you are wanting a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising another brilliant Orenda book tour and this one is no exception in fact it exceeds it. I would like to say a huge thank you to Orenda for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this brilliant book. I would also like to say thank you to the master mind, Vanda Symon for creating such a brilliant, darkly humorous and moving story with a bunch of wonderful characters especially Sam Shephard (what a woman!!! And what a character). Set in the wilds of New Zealand a land of ice, greenery and (yes iconic Lord of The Rings scenery *insert eye roll here*) I joke but it’s breathtaking. A community is shocked when a devastating and horrific and brutal murder happens which also personally affects the investigator herself. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A killer targeting pregnant women.
A detective expecting her first baby…..
The shocking murder of a heavily pregnant woman throws the New Zealand city of Dunedin into a tailspin, and the devastating crime feels uncomfortably close to home for Detective Sam Shephard as she counts down the days to her own maternity leave.
Confined to a desk job in the department, Sam must find the missing link between this brutal crime and a string of cases involving mothers and children in the past. As the pieces start to come together and the realisation dawns that the killer’s actions are escalating, drastic measures must be taken to prevent more tragedy.
For Sam, the case becomes personal, when it becomes increasingly clear that no one is safe and the clock is ticking……
I am going to have to admit to something….. this is the first book of the Sam Shephard series I have read. (Hides face in hands ) but oh wow what a book!! As soon as I read the first page I did not want to put it down. The story just gripped me all the way to the last page. It is a gruesome and somewhat baffling case which Sam Shephard finds herself investigating, but due to her condition she finds it’s getting more and more personal and what with certain attitudes (of the male variety) which consider a woman should be safe and protected she finds herself sidelined doing a desk job which to anyone with a modicum of brains would find boring.
I loved all the characters especially her interactions with Paul (her colleague and boyfriend) and also her best friend Maggie, I loved the banter between them all and how Paul understands Sam’s need to be as much as part of the team as she ever was but also has the courage to say to her to try to keep them both safe. I loved her interactions with her bosses and how frustrating and difficult men like them can be, who don’t like an opinionated and strong woman especially one who can be a loose cannon such as Sam. And it’s all set in the majestic and beautiful scenery of New Zealand, a land of mountains and rugged terrains but also where man has struggled to survive against the elements.
This book has a lot of heart and warmth to it, yes there’s the gruesome discovery or discoveries but there’s also a lot of humour and love. I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait to go back to the start and see how Sam progressed to this point. But for me Expectant will always hold something special in my heart. I would urge anyone to read this fantastic book and series it’s a must read!!!
Rating: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 and a 🍪 or two or three…
Vanda Symon lives in Dunedin, New Zealand. As well as being a crime writer, she has a PhD in science communication and is a researcher at the Centre for Pacific Health at the University of Otago. Overkillwas shortlisted for the 2019 CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award and she is a three-time finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel for her critically acclaimed Sam Shephard series. Vanda produces and hosts ‘Write On’, a monthly radio show focusing on the world of books at Otago Access Radio. When she isn’t working or writing, Vanda can be found in the garden, or on the business end of a fencing foil.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into the world of expectant mothers and babies and how someone’s desire for a family is twisted enough to cause devastation on another family and a community. If you are wanting a copy you can pre order it from Amazon, or from Orenda Books site (would highly recommend it) or you can buy it in any store when it’s out on 16th. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Quercus for inviting me to take part on this wonderful, moving book’s tour, I would also like to say thank you for allowing me to read and review a physical copy. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Linda Green, for creating such a heartbreaking, heartfelt tale of two families both different and yet the same but coming from different sides of a political divide which we have seen since brexit first came to our attention. And how two children from both families fall in love regardless of what their families think about that is it too late to heal the breach? Well let’s find out more from the blurb.
Two families divided by hate.
A love that will not die.
Sylvia and Donna travel on the same train to work each day but have never spoken. Their families are on different sides of the bitter brexit divide, although the tensions and arguments at home give them much in common.
What they don’t know is that their eldest children, Rachid and Jodie, are about to meet for the first time and fall in love. Aware that neither family will approve, the teenagers vow to keep their romance a secret.
But as Sylvie’s family feel increasingly unwelcome in England, a desire for a better life threatens Rachid and Jodie’s relationship. Can their love unite their families – or will it end in tragedy?
As soon as I read the first page I was hooked and spell bound. It’s not a gripper nor is it thriller, but it gently makes you aware of feelings and issues and surrounding tensions that can build up to heated arguments and differences which lead to many people more often than not being hurt, and usually it’s those who try to help or stop things from escalating that get tragically hurt. This does focus on a lot of issues such as the Brexit divide, especially in the North where communities are afraid of an increasing number (in their eyes) of “foreigners” and in this book one family is on the brexit side whilst the other family are starting to feel unwelcome in a place that used to feel home but now feels threatening.
Even though these two families have more in common than they think, the arguments of who goes where, and who’s having trouble at school, are offset by the the mothers who try to keep the family together and to try and keep the peace between neighbours. It’s only when one of their own start to feel romantically involved with each other that things start to heat up and tensions rise.
I loved Rachid and Jodie, and how their relationship is both sweet and young and full of hope, even though they both come from different backgrounds and views they don’t care about the differences because all they see and know is what makes them similar and also what they love about each other. I found it hard to see Jodie’s family and especially the younger brother fall into the hands of far right groups and the slippery slope that leads to and how the father doesn’t see it that way, though Jodie feels her mum should do more and is disappointed with her, she doesn’t see that all her mum is trying to do is what is best and that’s to keep the peace.
Rachid on the other hand seems to have it all a mother and father both working and distinguished in their careers and yet there are cracks beneath the surface and which the father and son constantly use words to injure each other and again the mother is trying to keep her family together. This shows the tensions in families and yet also the backdrop to what is going on and how it might play out.
I don’t want to spoil anymore of the story only that it’s just brilliant and moving and that ending had me in tears. This is one book that will never leave my mind and one that I think everyone should read.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
is the bestselling author of ten novels, which have sold more than 1.4 million copies and been translated into 12 languages. Her latest novel, One Moment, was a Radio 2 Book Club pick and her previous novel, The Last Thing She Told Me, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Linda has lived in West Yorkshire since 2001 but was born in North London in 1970 and brought up in Hertfordshire. She wrote her first novella, the Time Machine, aged nine, but unfortunately the pony-based time travel thriller genre never took off. Linda joined her local newspaper, the Enfield Gazette, as a trainee reporter at eighteen. During a ten year career in regional journalism, she worked as a reporter on the Birmingham Daily News, news editor on the Birmingham Metro News and Chief Feature Writer on the Coventry Evening Telegraph, winning Highly Commended in the Feature Writer of the Year category of the 1997 Press Gazette Regional Press Awards. By 1998 she left her staff job to write her first novel and work as a freelance journalist. She has written for The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Times Educational Supplement, The Big Issue, Wanderlust and Community Care Magazine. After more than a hundred rejections from agents (and more rewrites than she cares to remember) she finally obtained a two-book deal with Headline Review in 2006.
Her first novel I Did a Bad Thing was published in paperback in October 2007 and made the top thirty official fiction bestsellers list. 10 Reasons Not to Fall in Love was published in paperback in March 2009 and reached no 22 in the official fiction bestseller charts. Both novels were also long-listed for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award. They were followed by Things I Wish I’d Known, which was a top thirty paperback bestseller and And Then It Happened, which was a top forty bestseller in paperback and has sold more than 100,000 ebooks. After five years with Headline, she left to join Quercus in 2011. Her fifth novel The Mummyfesto, published in 2013, told the story of three women who set up a new political party and stand in the general election and was featured on Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour. Her sixth novel The Marriage Mender was published in August 2014. Linda’s first psychological thriller, While My Eyes Were Closed was published in ebook in January 2016 and paperback in May 2016 and has gone on to sell more than 450,000 copies across all editions. Her eighth novel, After I’ve Gone, has sold more than 100,000 copies. The Last Thing She Told Me was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and has sold more than 175,000 copies. In a previous life she enjoyed travelling and has trekked after wild orang-utans in Borneo, been to the edge of the Arctic Circle to see polar bears and as far south as Tierra del Fuego to photograph penguins. She also has a keen interest in politics and has appeared on Newsnight, Radio 5 Live, Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour and BBC News. She particularly enjoyed taking former PM David Cameron to task on Leadership Question Time in 2015. Linda lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and son.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into love in all forms and how fear and hate may cause people to lose their way, there is still hope that out of devastating loss, love and forgiveness can change how we think about others and that maybe we all are looking for someone to really see us. If you are wanting a copy, you can find this book in Waterstones, any independent store, and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Courtney Jefferies at EdPR for inviting me and the SquadPod on this book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for gifting me a proof copy to read and review, I am incredibly grateful. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Jessie Keane, for creating such a remarkable cast of characters especially tough and strong minded characters such as Annie Carter. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
THE CARTER WOMEN DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES: THEY MAKE THEM.
Gangster Max Carter and his ex-wife Annie Carter are leading separate lives in separate countries: past hurts and broken promises cannot be resolved. But then a summons to Majorca and a tragic death makes Max question all that has happened to him over many years.
He had two brothers – both are now dead. His closest friend has been found hanging from a London bridge. As the police wrestle with a seemingly unsolvable case, Max is forced to revisit his painful past to find answers to a mystery that seems to make no sense at all. Who is targeting his family? And why?
Annie Carter is at a crossroads in life. She has a luxurious lifestyle but no one to share it with, and Max clearly thinks she is in danger too. Her daughter Layla, has left her mafia lover Alberto Barolli and is back in London, stumbling into the police investigation and making waves. You should never go back, so the old saying goes. But then the Carter women don’t follow the rules, they make them.
And when the truth of what’s been happening is finally revealed, will the Carter family stand together – or will it finish them for good?
I haven’t actually read any Jessie Keane books before this one, I know that’s an unusual place to start with for a review, but I do think it’s a good thing. Basically I have no previous knowledge of these characters and come to them with fresh and honest eyes, also as it’s a kind of prequel and sequel of its own due to the past coming back to haunt the Carter family, I feel that I don’t really need to read the other books to get a feeling for them.
From the first page I was hooked and transported to a rough and dirty yet full of straight talking rules, back alley London. I found myself in sympathy with a few of the characters and especially the main protagonist of the story who develops a certain grudge (understandable grudge) against the Carter boys even though all he wants is to be accepted by them, especially Max. As this story shifts about from the present to the past, we see more of the family that surrounded Max and how he became I guess the lead Alpha or mafia style boss in London town. We also see how the relationship develops between him and Annie and how it also breaks down.
I found myself picturing this on the tv like one of the soaps especially Eastenders. And it has that seedy yet utterly compelling plot of what goes down when a past comes back to haunt a powerful family even one with the cracks still showing and should the past consider to tickle a sleeping dragon or let sleeping dogs lie?.
I did enjoy this book and found it entertaining it’s one I would call a blockbuster read, as it’s engaging and very easy to read and takes you away from the world for a short time. I am not sure if it suits me as in the genre but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of gangster angst, and a puzzling mystery.
Rating: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Jessie Keane Dubbed ‘Queen of the Underworld’, is of Romany gypsy stock. She was born rich, in the back of her gran’s barrel top wagon, and her family thrived until their firm crashed into bankruptcy and became poor. Her father died when she was a teenager and she fled to London to escape grim reality, finding there a lifelong fascination with the criminal underworld and the teeming life of the city.
Twice divorced and living in a freezing council flat, she decided to pursue her childhood aim to become a writer. She sold her wedding dress to buy a typewriter and penned her first Annie Carter book, Dirty Game.
This was followed by five more Annie Carter books, all Sunday Times bestsellers, then Ruby Darke arrived in Nameless, Lawless and The Edge. Jessie’s stand-alone novels include Jail Bird, The Make, Dangerous, Fearless, The Knock and The Manor.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into the seedy underbelly of London and it’s gangs of high flying criminals and families. And how you never can be sure the past will not come back to haunt you. If you are wanting a copy, you can find it in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to FMcM (Rhiannon Morris) for inviting me on another intriguing and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Amazon Crossing for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book and wow what a special book it is. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, Sigrídur Hagalín Björnsdóttir, for creating such an atmospheric, tense and moving tale of love, family love and sacrifice and what happens when we lose our way and break the trust of those we should keep safe from any harm, be it physical or emotional. And with a volcano added to the mix… well things are set to explode in more ways than one. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
After an eight hundred year slumber, the volcanoes in Iceland’s most populated region are showing signs of life. Earthquakes dominate the headlines. Echoes of the devastating eruptions in the past stir unease in the people.
Volcanologist, Anna Arnadottir has spent her entire life studying the volcanic powers under the earth’s crust, but even she cannot fathom the catastrophe at hand.
As a series of eruptions threaten most of Iceland’s population, she’s caught off her rational guard by the most terrible natural disaster of all – Love. The world as she knows it is about to fall apart, and so is her heart.
Caught between the safety of a nation and her feelings for her children, her lover and her past, Anna embarks on a dangerous journey to save the lives of the people she loves – and her soul.
This novel shook me like no other, I felt all the tremors and eruptions that would precede an earthquake and a volcano, no it was just reading this immensely atmospheric and dangerously beautiful book: What the author has managed to achieve is at one glance a fascinating insight into volcanology and the dangers and mishaps and human error that can lead to a catastrophic event such as peninsular of volcanos going off. And yet at the same time there’s this juxtaposition and an almost uncanny parallel with a shattering and huge turmoil in her own life when she finds herself falling in love and not with her husband but another man.
We observe as she starts to slowly unravel both in her day to day life but also as the dangers start to pile up and her increasing worry and fear for her children grow, we see her reach a climax in who to run to… does she see what her love has cost her and that her instinct to protect her children out ways that of her needing pleasure or an illicit thrill. Or does he turn her back on her family life and feel the freedom that she can only glimpse when she’s with her lover? These a tough questions for anyone, but most especially when confronted by a huge natural disaster such as a volcano erupting and that your family will most likely be in danger.
I found myself moved by the main characters plight and also hoping and praying that she realises who’s worth saving in time. I won’t spoil any more of this emotional and moving story. This all feels too real, as there have been news on Iceland’s volcanos erupting and one in which that caused many planes all over the world to lie stranded as clouds gathered in the skies creating difficulties for any flights to manoeuvre in the atmosphere safely. This book is not just about lessons learnt from a natural disaster look out, it’s more about love, family, freedom and sacrifices as well as a past that may have influenced you into taking the paths that have led up to the moment within this story. This is a masterpiece and one that has touched my heart. Please I beg you read this book as soon as you can.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Sigridur Hagalin Bjornsdottir studied history in Reykjavík and Salamanca and journalism at Columbia University in New York. She worked in Copenhagen before moving back to Reykjavík, where she lives with her husband, children, and stepchildren. Her bestselling debut, Island (2016), was nominated for the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize in 2017. When she isn’t writing, Björnsdóttir works as a journalist and television news anchor at the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Björnsdóttir’s highly anticipated third novel, The Fires, is a bestseller and viral hit in Iceland.
I hope you have enjoyed this fascinating journey into a chaotic, upheaving, tale of devastating events such as volcanos and also how the devastating effects of that one little move to start an affair can cause so much pain and torment and whether it’s worth all of that for that one glimpse of freedom. If you are wanting a copy you can find this on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I am sorry to say but there should be a blog tour banner which I have been unsuccessful to upload, so please if you could look out for some reviews of this wonderful book on Twitter and Instagram by some lovely and wonderful bloggers!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Rosie Margesson and Wildfire Books for inviting me to take part on this thrilling book’s tour, and to also allow me to read and review this intriguing book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the mastermind behind the cunning plot twists, Elliot Sweeney for creating such a vast range of characters especially Dylan Kaspar an ex cop with a tragic past.. (and seriously it’s one that any parent would consider there darkest fear) and how the past can come back to haunt you. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Dylan Kasper is stuck. Living in self-imposed reclusion from his former life in the police, he’s been in a downward spiral since his daughter’s death five years ago.
All that changes when the son of an esteemed professor jumps under an inner city train. His former colleagues call it suicide – but Kasper knows different. This has all happened before – to him, and his dead daughter.
Taking on the investigation himself, Kasper soon realises the terrible trouble young Tommy had found himself in. With nowhere to run, he thought suicide was the only way to keep his family safe.
But before long, Kasper’s investigations makes him target number one. Can he keep his demons in check and stay alive long enough to bring those responsible to justice…..
As soon as I read the first page, that was it I was completely and utterly hooked. This is definitely a unique look into I guess a modern PI detective, who was once a cop but due to personal reasons gave it up and has just been trying to survive from day to day. Till a meet up with a boy who has a lot of issues intrigued him enough to find out a bit more about him, until the said boy commits suicide. With a past that is also directly connected to a similar death, our PI finds himself called upon to work out what the hell the poor boy was upto and why was there no one with whom the boy could turn to.
There is a lot of darkness and shiftiness within this story, some rather broken homes with families having to tell lies to each other to try and either protect them from being scrutinised or trying to protect what’s left of their own self worth. I was intrigued by the plot, but I can’t say whether I had much sympathy for some of the characters. There is the revered professor the father of the boy who is more distant than actively wanting to show his feelings towards his son, there’s also the enigmatic and feisty sister as well as some shady characters with whom try to take down Kasper, as he starts to get too close to the truth.
I think that this is definitely a cleverly written and unique crime/thriller. One that looks into the mind, how outside factors can influence us to act against our natures, such as stress and pressures that seem to overwhelm us can with some more force make us want to take our own life especially if there’s no way out (in our head at least). This also delves into serious subjects such as suicide, trauma and abuse.
This is definitely a compelling book and one that will make you want to know what will Kasper do next?
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Elliot Sweeney is a community psychiatric nurse from London. He was awarded the Fisher Scholarship to attend the Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course, and he’s also been supported by Spread the Word through their London Writers Awards Scheme. The Literary Consultancy has showcased him as a Spotlight Author, and he’s written for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Switchblade, amongst others.
I hope you have enjoyed this dark and disturbing journey into what makes us tick and what can make us jump. If you want to get hold of a copy you can find this in Waterstones, independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Nikki Griffiths for organising such an intriguing and fascinating blog tour for this unique book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Melville House Publishing for allowing me to read and review a physical proof copy of this book. I would also like to say thank you to the author for making me think about my social interactions with my friends and people in general and how hanging out has become put to the back burner a bit and that this break or a chance to connect and relax which would mean we gain something and make us feel ready to work, but instead we are losing out due to our work load becoming increasingly more overwhelming and that we have structured our time to do less relaxing or hanging out. Anyway before I basically summarise the whole book 😂, shall we head to the blurb and find out what it’s all about.
Almost every day it seems that out world becomes more fractured, more digital, and more chaotic. Sheila Liming has the answer: we need to hang out more. Starting with the assumption that play is to children as hanging out is to adults, Liming makes a brilliant case for the necessity of unstructured social time as a key element of our cultural vitality. The book asks questions like what is hanging out? Why is it important? Why do we do it? How do we do it? And examines the various ways we hang out – in groups, online at parties, at work. Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time makes a smart and funny case for the importance of this most casual of social structures, and shows us how just getting together can be a potent act of resistance all on its own.
This is one book that made me think about a lot of things with regarding “hanging out”. Finding time away from work, finding time to talk with one another. The author talks about her experiences with hanging out in different ways from her past, one in which I have never done and would be terrified in doing alone and well not really what I would call hanging out in a fun way, but that’s my personal point of view and I admire her strength in not only enjoying but actually realising the dangers in what she had been doing versus the reality in which there are nice people out there it’s just challenging what we assumed would happen.
I loved the little snippets we get of people the author has met and how through hanging out with them gained her a unique view on relationships that other people are missing out on. Covid really messed things up big time with socialising and it’s only relatively recently that people have become a bit more aware and more concerned about what used to be natural to us. With technology which is great in providing us the use of phones, laptops and computers in helping us find and locate friends who may not be in the same country or even connect us with people we wouldn’t normally connect with face to face. It has come up for some people some misgivings on whether tech development has caused more harm than good.
The author looks into families with phones and how the use of it has made dinner interactions with each other more dysfunctional and to her catastrophic for language and the use of talking which has impacts on how to proceed in later life in jobs and wanting to build a career. For me I at times found myself disagreeing but at others understanding where she comes from. I don’t have the answers and definitely know my opinion on the matter will be different to everyone else’s views. For me though tech has helped me be able to communicate more and be more social than I ever could, I find I can think about what I am saying rather than have someone be frustrated in front of me as I tangle myself up in knots trying to say what I mean.
I read this from cover to cover enthralled. It looks at how over time we have all become obsessed with working and leaving the hanging out part as a somewhat faded out part. Due to technological advances and the impact this has had on the younger generation especially the ones growing up now, there seems to be less communication between teenagers as in face to face, there’s now another language one that’s based online, on phones and text speak.
Also it asks us how families have changed over time from sitting round the table and discussing the day to separate eating times due to busy schedules as in parents working later and kids wanting time in their rooms. All this is interesting and fascinating and leaves you wondering what needs to change and how? I am not sure what is right but reading this book it’s made me look at my family and what we did and how that’s shaped my life and how I talk with other people.
What I am trying to say is that, though I do find some of the authors views not what I would agree with, I do admit that I loved and found her anecdotes about her life or her friends lives incredibly fascinating and interesting. I just think that socialising is a fluid thing and that people socialise in different ways. Personally I do love hanging out but I do and will find it hard to go out for more than say a couple of hours. I love spending time with my head in a book, or being out with my mates at a restaurant or at work during break. It’s not that I disagree with the author and I found the book incredibly interesting and fascinating and I did make some notes of what I could change to make my work life balance much more even, but I wasn’t convinced in some of the arguments or points she made. But this is just my opinion, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It definitely made me think and love the anecdotes and memories which the author uses to illustrate her points.
Rating: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Sheila Liming is an associate professor at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, where she teaches classes on literature, media, and writing. She is the author of two books, What a Library Means to a Woman and Office, and the editor of a new edition of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. Her essays have appeared in venues like The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, and The Point.
I hope you have found my review of this interesting and fascinating book gripping enough that you want a copy for yourself. If you are interested you can find this in any independent store, Waterstones and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Tracy Fenton, Compulsive Readers, for organising such a fantastic tour for this book and for inviting me to take part I am always grateful to be allowed to read and review such wonderful stories. Thank you also to Orbit for allowing me to read a physical copy of this magical book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the teller of tales, of magic and wonder, Heather Fawcett, for creating such a unique and fascinating and endearing character in Emily and for creating such a wonderful world . Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Enter the world of the hidden folk – and discover the most whimsical, enchanting and heart-warming tale you’ll read this year, featuring the intrepid Emily Wilde…..
Emily Wilde is good at many things; she is the foremost expert on the study of faeries; she is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival, Wendell Bambleby.
But as Emily gets closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones – the most elusive of all faeries – she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all – her own heart.
Wow, what a book!! I am still entranced by the story, even now. Emily as a character is just so vivid and endearing that she is an unforgettable character and one who will have a hold of your heart for a long time afterwards. I found myself unwilling to put this book down, even for one moment. It definitely has cast a spell on me and one I am happy to be enchanted, the story grips you from the first page and gently but surely guides you through the pages till the very end. I didn’t want to face the real world, but sadly I had to (otherwise you wouldn’t be getting this review 😂… I would still be with Emily and her faithful companion, I mean her dog of course whom did you think I meant 😉, dwelling within wonderful, magical worlds).
I also found the romantic elements and relationships that are a must in any adventurous undertaking absolutely wonderfully crafted. And how someone as socially awkward as Emily, can and almost against their will find someone who can bring them out of their shell and let them know that they are not alone and it’s ok to ask for help and for that to not be seen as a weakness is in fact a strength. And it also builds everlasting friendships and comradeships. I love Emily’s dog, friend who I will not spoil or say anymore on just that it is one of my favourite characters. I also love the enemies to friends to lovers trope and also how tales of superstition such as the fae or faeries hold sway in the minds of what I can only describe as a somewhat more accepting of magic and myths and legends Victorian period.
I won’t go on any further as I feel I would spoil what to me is one of my most favourite books to come out this year!!! It’s just wonderful and spell-binding. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of fae, magic, romance type novel. It’s a must read.
Rating: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰… with a few 🍪 or two maybe three.
Heather Fawcett is the author of the middle grade novels Ember and the Ice Dragons and The Language of Ghosts, as well as the young adult series Even the Darkest Stars. She has a master’s degree in English literature and has worked as an archaeologist, photographer, technical writer, and backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theater festival. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada.
I hope you have enjoyed this marvellous, enchanting and magical journey into the world of faeries, love, friendships and rivalry and some rather unique characters that will hold your heart. If you are looking to get a copy of this stunning book, you can find it in an independent store, in Waterstones or of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Emily Patience at Quercus for inviting me to take part on this gripping and thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Quercus for allowing me to read and review a physical hardback copy of this marvellous book. I would like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to the creative talent, Kate Webb, for creating such a brilliant, atmospheric and intriguing detective and also an incredibly engaging plot. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Detective Inspector Matt Lockyer has been side-lined to working cold-cases, following a bad decision he made in a recent investigation in order to support a friend. Lockyer isn’t too bothered though, as it gives him the chance to review some of the cases that keep him up at night and to look into his own brother’s senseless killing which still remains unsolved.
On a quiet afternoon Lockyer receives a phone call from prisoner Hedy Lambert – a woman he put inside for murder fourteen years ago. She informs him that the man she was originally accused of killing has turned up alive and well. She begs him to reopen her case.
All those years ago, Lockyer had been the one to pin down Hedy’s motive, but deep down he’d never wanted to believe she was guilty. The thought that he might have sent an innocent woman down for life doesn’t sit well with him and he agrees to reopen the investigation. But has it become too personal and is he being manipulated? Perhaps there are some cases that should stay buried…..
Wow, this book really gripped me right from the first page and didn’t let me go till I turned the last page. I was immersed in the story and really felt for all the characters even ones that I wasn’t too fond of, I felt for them as they grew up in a slightly troubled family and had some rather nefarious friends (shall we say). I loved Matt and his somewhat curious relationship with the person who he put away for the crime murdering someone, there’s this sort of developing romance between them which is adorable and made me think of Lord Peter Whimsey and Harriet Vane’s relationship… (am I hoping that Matt and Hedy hook up?…. Maybe) don’t worry no spoilers as such but I honestly have to say that this is, to me, the most believable relationship or development of a relationship I have read in a crime novel…. In awhile. I loved where it was set too, as I know the area and have travelled through Wiltshire, mainly because Grandparents lived close to such places as Salisbury and Stonehenge but also it was on the way to such places too. I also loved how it wasn’t focused solely on the usual “murder squad team” but more on the cold cases side and that there are not just one case that they are dealing with but for Matt he’s quite happy being sidelined so he can concentrate on a personal case…. His brother’s unsolved killing.
Though he does mainly focus his attention on helping his former suspect get free from the sentence he helped imprison her, you have a feeling that, his brother’s case still means too much for him to give up on and that he will dig and dig till he finds something, anything that can stop the guilt of not being there for his brother. I just feel like there is more to come from this intriguing detective team and that there is more from Lockyer and Hedy (I hope).
Why did this grab me so much? I think it’s due to how well the author, uses the setting of Wiltshire to conjure not only a discrepancy in that there is darkness in the most lovely of locations and that families which seem well off and more fortunate, may have darker secrets than most. I absolutely loved this book and I hope that there is more to come. It twists and turns in all the right places and also discusses sensitive subjects such as suicide and mental health such as depression. I would urge anyone to read this book ASAP!!!.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with maybe a 🍪 or two.
Kate Webb was born in 1977 and grew up in Hampshire before reading History at Durham University. She has since spent time living in London and Venice, and now lives in the countryside near Bath, UK. STAY BURIED is her debut crime novel, and Book 1 in the DI Lockyer series. She also writes historical novels under the name Katherine Webb, which have included several Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers and been translated into 26 languages around the world.
I hope you have enjoyed this, dark and twisted journey into the heart of what should be the Cotswolds country side, where peace and quiet should reign, but can be shattered by lies, deceit and a bit of murder… just a bit. If you are wanting to grab a copy of this fantastic book, you can find it in any independent store, in Waterstones and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Heather Fitt for inviting me to take part on this gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent Dave Sivers for creating such a gripping and thrilling book. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
An anonymous call leads DI Nathan Quarrel and his team to a secluded house in a Hertfordshire village and a horrific discovery: three chest freezers containing the naked bodies of five women.
As the painstaking business of identifying the apparently unconnected victims gets underway, it becomes frighteningly clear that a sadistic serial killer has been at work, probably over a long period of time.
With no strong suspects, and no leads, unmasking the killer takes on a new urgency. Because the discoveries at what the media is calling “a house of horrors” may not stop the killer, or even slow them down. Indeed, they may already have targeted their next victim….
Wow, this book completely and utterly caught me up and didn’t let me go. I was hooked from the very first page, the characters felt real and their mix of backgrounds, complicated lives and how they are all juggling trying to stay on top whilst also having to deal with dead bodies left in freezers. (Not your typical average day at work) but makes for a compelling, dark and disturbing story.
From the first moment we are introduced to DI Nathan and his team we know that the focus of intense pressure to solve the case and to capture the killer builds throughout the novel, we also feel secure that whatever happens this team will make sure that the monster figure is put away (yes not all stories or crime stories have to tidy everything up but sometimes it’s nice to have that comfort) and most of the time even if the case is solved they still have to live and interact with their families, and do normal stuff that isn’t looking at the darker side of humanity. I feel that we are given a novel that encompasses both of these worlds and how separate and yet needed they are.
I loved all the characters especially the young DC who wants to prove her worth and make a career out it. I won’t go into too much detail as I feel it will spoil how good this book is, but I have never felt more for a character than this one. She had just the right amount of confidence and vulnerabilities that make her empathetic and also brilliant and strong.
I have to admit that though there is a first book I haven’t been able to read it yet…. Yes this book is the second book in the Nathan Qurrel series (I hope there is more!!!) and though it is the second book it feels like a stand-alone and one that you could just read without having to know what the first book is all about. But I will say this once you have read your first Nathan Quarrel you will want to pick the first book up. The story is disturbing enough and it does start off with a bang… five bodies in a freezer…. Bam!!! This book does not take any prisoners and will leave you wanting more.
Rating: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Dave Sivers is the author of the popular Archer and Baines crime novels set in Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale. Dave grew up in West London. During his working life, he moonlighted as a bookmaker’s clerk, nightclub bouncer and freelance writer, as well as gaining a first class honours degree from the Open University. Early retirement from the day job allowed him more time to focus on his writing. His first two Archer and Baines novels, The Scars Beneath the Soul and Dead in Deep Water, were both Top 3 bestsellers in the Amazon Kindle Serial Killers chart. There are six books in the series so far, all available in both Kindle ebook and paperback. In Ice, published in December 2022, is the second in the DI Nathan Quarrel series. Dave is a member of the Crime Writers Association and a founder of the BeaconLit literary festival. He lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife, Chris.
I hope you have enjoyed this sinister, dark and disturbing novel about killers hiding in plain sight and that you might want to make doubly sure who you trust with your money. If you are wanting to get hold of a copy you can find it on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a brilliant book’s tour and for inviting me to take part. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Orenda Books for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this disturbing and intriguing book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the master mind which created this tale, Ronnie Turner, the most chilling and shocking book I have read in… well awhile. It’s so much unlike anything I have read I needed time to figure out at the end to wonder what on eartb I had read and more importantly… it blew my mind. So what’s this intriguing and disturbing book about you might ask?…. Let’s head over to the blurb and find out.
Fear blisters through this town like a fever….
When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to it’s proprietor risk a bad end.
Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.
Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.
As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge.
Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.
I wasn’t sure at first what I would make of this book, I know that doesn’t sound positive but please hold on. I knew it would be a good one, the blurb (as seen above) hooked me and I just had to read the first page. As soon as I did, I was completely hooked, mesmerised and line and sinkered. And by the time I had finished my mind had been blown sky high. This book does not take any prisoners it makes you look at yourself and others and how easily it is to become the very person we don’t want to be and that others can bring that side to the fore.
We follow a man who has a somewhat disturbing past, and though at first we sympathise with his situation, we don’t really glimpse the true story from him so we are left to wonder what brings him to this place, Ryde, and why does the shop lure him too well. We also meet a young mum, Ada and her boy, and we follow each character and how they soon start to meet and how things start to take a more disturbing allure. There’s also the rather menacing and vaguely terrifying figure of the silent and watchful shopkeeper and how the townspeople feel a mixture of fear, disgust and desperation of wanting this presence gone.
With each page that’s turned we see glimpses of a dawning horror and yet it’s almost uncannily impossible to believe. I won’t spoil any of the story, Only to say that this is a must read book for anyone who loves a chilling, horrifying thriller, one that leaves you with goosebumps and chills running up and down your spine. There are issues that is dealt with in this book, such as violent domestic abuse, psychological abuse, murder and I guess a community style bullying. There’s also a question which is asked from the beginning to the end whether trauma and abuse can be passed on to the victim and how long this toll if it’s not dealt with quicker could mean it happening all over again. For me though I loved the whole story, I found some of it to be a bit heavy handed but I still think this is the most brilliantly crafted thriller, with one of the most sinister villains written. If you love Silence of The Lambs, Stephen King novels this is definitely up there with the best of them.
I would highly recommend this superb book to anyone… just make sure you read this in daylight not at night… it might keep you up.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature. She now works as a Senior Waterstones Bookseller and barista. Ronnie lives in the South West with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and taking long walks on the coast.
I hope you have enjoyed this incursion into the darkest parts of the human mind, and how warped people can become when exposed to someone who can get into your head (will not say anymore due to spoilers). All I will say is that I will never look at an antiques shop again 😂. This fantastic book isn’t out yet but I urge you to pre order it asap!!! Especially get it from Orenda Books who publish a wonderful collection of some of the most intriguing and thrilling crime novels which I have read, you will also be helping out a lovely independent too. If you’re not sure you can also get hold of a copy from Amazon or if you are waiting for publication date you can get a copy from Waterstones. I will leave you now only to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Merky Books (Penguin) for allowing me to read and review this exceptional and moving read. I would also like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to the creative talent, Jyoti Patel, who’s storytelling brings the two identities of a family who are both Indian and English and how the younger generation feel a mix of confusions of who they are, as in they don’t quite feel comfortable in India but also feel isolated and targeted in England. It’s about secrets and kept in a family and how those secrets come out and whether there’s a chance to heal and forgive. Intrigued? Let’s find out a bit more from the blurb.
Nik has a lot of questions about his late father but knows better than to ask his mother Avani. It’s their unspoken rule.
When his grandfather dies, Nik has the opportunity to learn about the man he never met. Armed with a key and new knowledge about his parents’ past, Nik sets out to unlock the secrets that his mother has been holding onto his whole life.
As the carefully crafted portrait Avani has painted for her son begins to crack, and painful truths emerge, can the two of them find their way back to each other?
I was incredibly lucky to receive a proof copy of this moving novel about family, secrets, tragedy, the feeling of misplacement between two identities that of being both British and Indian and how between the two the main character Nik does not feel understood r comfortable. When he visits India he feels more of a tourist than others and yet where he lives and studies he also feels not quite a part of the community, he feels isolated and mistrusted by the people who view him as a foreigner in their “own views” of what they consider their home to be.
But it’s also more to do with secrets from a family’s past that seem to shake up the life which Nik and his mother have only really been floating on the surface and around the subject of “what really happened to his father?”. You grow to love and sympathise with each character that is portrayed, both the sun, the mother and also all the associated characters from the past to the present. There is the past of Avani, living within a family hiding anything that suggests discord or violence especially domestic abuse and the shame that could be brought down on the victim. There is also running through this the casual racism that guides the family and others around them in the society in which they live. It becomes more apparent to Nik when he decides to study up in the north and which leaves him feeling even more isolated vulnerable to his own feelings.
I cannot highly recommend this astounding book enough and urge anyone to pick it up and read it. It’s both emotional, charged with tense family dramas and moving scenes of understanding oneself and also for forgiving yourself to and being able to talk out and to not feel that weight of shame of not being able to talk out due to a sense of protection, and not allowing any sign of weakness. It both highlights issues surrounding mental health and how past abuses can create a prison for the victim.
Honestly please get a hold of a copy this is a truly fantastic debut novel and it’s one that leaves you thinking and yet also gives hope and that it’s never too late to reconcile and move on from the past.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Jyoti Patel is a London-based author. She is a graduate of the University of East Anglia’s Prose Fiction MA and winner of the 2021 #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize. Her writing has previously been published as part of We Present’s ‘Literally’ series and in the anthology for the 2022 Bristol Short Story Prize, for which she was shortlisted. ‘The Things That We Lost’ is her debut novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this little review of mine this is definitely one that is going to be on my top 23 books of 23. What a book to kick start the new year!!! If you are wondering where to get a copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!’.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the lovely A J McDine for sending a gifted digital copy for me to read and review, sorry if it has taken a bit of time for me to get round to it, but here it is. All I am going to say right now is… well what a story… let’s head to the blurb and find out why I am quite excited about this novel. (Just a warning there are some sensitive silubjects discussed in this story but it is handled extremely well).
It was an invite to die for……
When the anonymous invite arrived, we knew exactly who it was from.
Elle Romero, the beautiful, charismatic Texan who burst into our lives when we were teenagers.
We’d gone our separate ways and lost touch. Until now.
Elle, the legendary prankster is back.
She’s invited us all – me, Claire, Lizzie and Megan – to a swanky country house for a reunion.
We arrive excited for a weekend of reminiscing and reconnecting. A chance to step out of our uneventful lives for awhile.
But when Elle fails to show up at her own party, we begin to wonder if she is up to her own tricks.
And when a body turns up in the cellar, it seems this time the joke might just be on us…..
Wow, this book had me gripped from the first page. The story is a slow burner, but once the tension and the unease comes in you really start to sense that all is not well within this little trip to a lovely country house, with long lost friends, good food and most especially drinks. But each friend thinks they have been invited by their friend Elle, who hasn’t been back since they were all at school together. Each friend has made a life for themselves, as wives, mothers or just working to survive. They all hold each other dear and occasionally are jealous of each others lives seeing only the gloss compared to what they think is their dross.
When they all meet up and realise something isn’t right certain fears and paranoias start to rise to the surface and secrets in which they have held from each other seem to find their way out. I loved each character and how we see each of them view their life and their friends lives differently, we have Tara who was a young teen mum but was luckily to find that her boyfriend was loyal and true and wanted to start a family, but she’s wanting more from her life than just being a stay at home mum and as she feels drawn to the nursing profession yearns to re-educate herself to achieve her dreams… but is that all wishful thinking? We also have Lizzie who on the outside looks to be the sort of mum that’s organised, on top and can do everything as long as there’s lists or plans, she works as deputy head teacher but also finds that the balance of being a mum and doing everything without occasional or rather lacklustre help from said husband can be a bit much.
Then there’s Megan, who’s a hard working barrister is well paid and has a husband who can work from home with a child who may or may not have a disability also finds herself thinking is this what she wanted? And then there’s Claire, the single one from the group, who’s finding work life and personal life tough and with the invitation to spend a few days in a luxurious country house, and what with a scandal brewing now might be a good time to chill and relax. And Elle well… she was the ultimate joker, pranker and yes could be incredibly cruel, do they know her and what has she been upto?
Watching all these little side plots and stories come together you see a group of women who have known each other for ever and though at times each of them have moans or concerns or even feel envious at times, they will stick together like glue and will protect each of them from anyone. There were moments where some views from these women I felt nearly made me wince, and how some choices these women went through , could have turned out differently if they went another way. This isn’t just about a reckoning from the past it’s how a group of childhood friends realise how much they do and can support each other even when they have held back from one another there is still a bond that will not be broken no matter what tries to tear them apart.
I won’t spoil any more about this gripping book, only to say this really made me think about my own choices and twists from certain paths that could have had a similar result… (well I hope not to experience a psychotic ex pupil try and murder me and my friends 😂) and that being given an invitation by a courier on a bike well… am not sure I would take that. I seriously urge you to read this fantastic suspenseful book.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ (or 🍷 for them) and a large 🍰 (you will be left with cold coffee, an empty glass and crumbs by the time you finish this book it’s very compelling)
A J McDine lives in Kent with her husband and fellow thriller writer A J Wills and their two teenage sons. She worked as a journalist and police press officer before becoming a full-time author in 2019. Endlessly fascinated by people and their fears and foibles, she loves to discover what makes them tick. She writes dark, domestic thrillers about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. When she’s not writing, playing tennis or attempting to run a 5k, she can usually be found people-watching in her favourite café.
I hope you have enjoyed this thrilling, gripping and suspenseful journey into friendships and how reunions can be fun until they turn deadly. If you are wanting to get hold of a copy you can find this on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Susanna Pedan at Harper Voyager for allowing me (and my other wonderful friends of SquadPod) to help shout out about this amazing, fantastic and utterly enchanting duology, which is the second and last in this wonderful other world, Heart Of The Sun Warrior. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Sue Lynn Tan for creating such a beautiful, poignant, tragic and yet utterly enchanting and gripping story that at once leaves you gasping in tears and filled with joyful tears too, as well as some rather laugh out loud moments. If this hasn’t wet your appetite I don’t know what will, intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurbs of both books and find out more.
(Just want to say that I will be mainly reviewing Heart Of The Sun Warrior as I was most kindly gifted a proof to review, but as it spurred me to read the first book, Daughter Of The Moon Goddess, I will be talking about this book too. So there will be two blurbs one for the first book and one for the second).
Daughter Of The Moon Goddess blurb:
A young woman’s quest to free her mother puts her against the most powerful immortal in the realm, setting her on a dangerous path where those she loves are not the only ones at risk….
Raised far away on the moon, Xingyin was unaware she was being hidden from the Celestial Emperor – who exiled her mother for stealing the elixir of immortality. But when her magic flares and reveals her, Xingyin is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.
Alone, powerless and afraid , Xingyin makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. In disguise, she trains alongside the Emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, despite the passion which flames between them.
Vowing to rescue her mother, Xingyin embarks on a quest, confronting legendary creatures, and vicious enemies. But when forbidden magic threatens the Kingdom, Xingyin must challenge the ruthless Emperor, leaving her torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos….
Inspired by the legend of Chang’e, The Moon Goddess, this captivating tale weaves Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of love and family, immortals and magic….
Heart Of The Sun Warrior blurb:
An unspeakable terror is sweeping across the realm as the Celestial Emperor tightens his grip on power. The fragile peace Xingyin fought so hard for when freeing her mother is under threat.
Forced to flee her home, Xingyin ventures into the unexplored lands of the Immortal Realm to seek aid in her fight, but, with alliances shifting quicker than the tides, she has to overcome past grudges and enmities to forge a new path forward, seeking aid where she never imagined.
Xingyin must uncover the truth of her heart and claw her way through devastation – to rise against evilbefore it destroys everything she holds dear, and the worlds she has grown to love…. even if doing so demands the greatest price of all.
I had bought myself the first book in this magical tale, with the intention of reading it asap… ahem well it took the next one to urge me to get on and read it. And oh wow!!! the DOTMG is such a beautiful and enchanting story filled with magic both dark and light with many ethereal and otherworldly awe. The main character Xingyin is well without giving too much away, is something special and you feel for her as she is forced to run from her home to find a way to release her mother from the constraints which hold her in place from the Celestial Emperor. This story has no real or visible enemy as such, you do get an inkling that there is something not right going on in the Celestial Kingdom but like Xingyin you are not sure if it’s just the strangeness of the place or whether there is some other reason. I loved the visual poetical descriptions of the settings in each scene it felt almost (in my head) like one of those Chinese silk paintings where scene by scene you see the full story come to life.
I felt myself transported into another world and it takes awhile for you to come back to reality, every page you want to stay and read more and see more and breathe with all the characters. My heart could not take the turning of the last page of the first book and I needed most urgently to read the next and finale of the epic story.
And so… we come to Heart Of The Sun Warrior and wow, what a fantastic, gripping and just a heart wrenching gut punching stunning book. I could go on and on with how much I love this story, the characters are at once both familiar because their loves, lies and feelings are human and yet there’s a strange and ethereal pull almost godlike awe as they fight daemons and monsters (some with beautiful faces) and how hurts, grievances can twist and turn someone to do evil and that someone who everyone denigrates and fears might not be what people would think. (I won’t spoil anything you have to work it out for yourself lol) but I have to urge you to get a hold of these fabulous books.
What can I say, I am not sure there is much more to say than, wow!! What a beautiful, powerful, enthralling and just magical storytelling I am in awe of Sue Lynn’s writing, I could smell the blossoms feel the wood in my hands and see well some rather intimidating and yet also strangely beautiful characters. I know I keep saying these words but I just can’t find any other words that will do. It’s definitely going to be in top 22 books of 2022. Utterly brilliant.
Ratings: 5 stars with 🍵 and 🥮 ( something special for two special books)
Sue Lynn Tan writes fantasy inspired by the myths and legends she fell in love with as a child. Born in Malaysia, she studied in London and France, before settling in Hong Kong with her family. Her love for stories began with a gift from her father, a compilation of fairytales from around the world, and she spent much of her childhood lost in magical worlds. When not writing or reading, she can be found exploring the hills, lakes and temples around her home.
I hope you have enjoyed this marvellous, magical and enchanting tale of an epic inspired retelling of an exquisite and elegant Chinese myth. I would urge anyone to get hold of these beauties, if you are looking to get hold of a copy for yourselves you can find this in Waterstones, independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
Publication Date: Out in ebook now (paperback set for release in June 2023)
Price: Ebook £0.99p (on offer on Amazon)
I would like to say a huge thank you to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers, for organising this gripping and thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you for Orion for allowing me to read and a review a physical copy of this book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Isabel Ashdown for creating such an atmospheric and tense build up with a cast of characters you are a bit repulsed by and yet also compelled to find out what happens next. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Welcome to The Starlings….sun, sea and neighbours to die for.
Security, a sparkling sea view and the best kind of neighbours, The Starlings gated community has it all. Here, doors are left open, children run free, and at the heart of it all is the entrepreneurial Gold family, who first dreamed up this aspirational vision of ‘Dorset’s safest community’’. To the outside world the popular family appears glitteringly blessed….. until an idyllic party takes a dark turn and one of their number is found slumped at the foot of of the clock tower. Who knows what really happened? And what answers are harboured within the old building, the former high cap Mother and Baby home?…..
I found myself being caught up in this world that looks glamorous and sparkling and yet underneath the cracks and grime are starting to show and soon secrets start to spill out some are shocking and some are devastating to certain characters until one evening at a party it all comes out and a dark twist to the end leaves all the residences feeling lost, confused and afraid.
There are so many plots and twists that will grip you as you read and as the story progresses you find yourself gradually getting a clear picture to what happened and why it came to be. The setting is just superb for a tense and gripping drama, Dorset is where I grew up for most of my life and though I could t place exactly where this community would have been, I have a hodgepodge of areas where it could most likely be set. Some of the characters I found it hard to like and some I instantly liked due to one having the same name as my mum (though the character is completely different the name brought a smile each time). This is a good, thrilling and gripping novel. With plenty of background stories that don’t upset the flow of the story but adds to it bit by bit.
I would definitely urge anyone to get hold of this book (ebook if you have one, or wait for the paperback release if you don’t).
Ratings: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Isabel Ashdown has several critically acclaimed novels already to her name, Isabel Ashdown first burst onto the thriller scene in 2017 with her Amazon bestseller LITTLE SISTER. She has since seen two of her thrillers shortlisted in the prestigious Dead Good Reader Awards, and her dark family dramas continue to hook readers across the globe.
I hope you have enjoyed this tense, gripping and brilliant journey into what lies behind those gleaming and barred gates and what secrets do they hide. If you want to get hold of this you can find it on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising this intriguing and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to WilliamMr for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Katherine St John, for creating such an atmospheric and intriguing tale of lies, deception, betrayal and obsession and a cult influence that makes the story that much more threatening. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A perfect paradise? Or a perfect nightmare?
On a river deep in the Mexican jungle stands the colossal villa Xanadu, a wellness centre that’s home to an ardent spiritual group devoted to self-help guru Paul Bentsen and his enigmatic wife Kali. But when Paul mysteriously dies, his entire estate – including Xanadu – is left not to Kali, but to his estranged niece Sveta.
Shocked and confused, Sveta travels from New York City to Mexico to pay her respects. At first Xanadu seems like a secluded paradise with its tumbling gardens, beautiful people, and transcendent vibe. But soon the mystical facade wears thin, revealing a group of brainwashed members drunk on promises of of an impossible utopia, guided by a disturbing belief system and a charismatic, dangerously capable leader.
As the sinister forces surrounding Sveta become apparent, she realises too late, she can’t escape. Frantic and terrified, she discovers her only chance of survival is to put her confidence in the very person she trusts the least.
This book grips you from the very page and takes you on a journey into a dark, disturbing and sinister world. One that should be filled with peace, love and finding your inner joy and contentment, but what if there’s another side to these spiritual retreats, one where with a charismatic and charming group leader and where like sheep you follow, even if some of the rites and rituals are dangerous and disturbing. We follow Sveta into the Mexican jungle after she learns she’s inherited this retreat, Xanadu, from her estranged Uncle. And at first there’s nothing sinister at all just a lovely secluded bit of paradise and beautiful people strolling around, until gradually odd moments and suspicions start to form a disturbing picture, and that’s when it’s too late to escape.
I have to admit I wasn’t expecting where the story was going, so was a bit surprised by some of the plot, but once I got over that it really did just rattle off from there. I liked the darkness and suspense of what would happen next, and with a touch of romance it really did make your heart pump with excitement. The only things I wasn’t too enamoured about where mentions of Hindu, and other Asian religions that seemed to have got twisted, which granted Cults tend to do, twist things to suit their purpose. But I do admit that the name Kali is an interesting choice for a cult leader, though the Hindu goddess the name is taken from is a much more complex and grey being than just a use for thuggish behaviour, she’s the goddess of destruction,and death she’s considered to be Mother Nature in some respects. So I felt the name was a bit jarring, but that’s my own opinion and it doesn’t take away from the novels gripping and thrilling tale.
I would urge you to read this as soon as you can get hold of it. It’s definitely unique and I had to get to the end to find out what happens next. And no I won’t spoil that for you (wink).
Ratings: 5 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Katherine St John is a native of Mississippi, graduate of the University of Southern California, and author of The Lion’s Den and The Siren. When she’s not writing, she can be found hiking or on the beach with a good book. Katherine lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children.
I hope you have enjoyed this sinister and dark journey into the heart of cults and what makes them tic and how easy it is to be caught up in that wave of euphoria and not knowing that sometimes it can be too much like a good thing. If you are wanting a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Nikki Griffiths and Melville House for allowing me take part on this fascinating and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Melville for gifting me a physical proof copy of this wondrous book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Robert J Lloyd for creating such an atmospheric, gripping and historically fascinating story, set in a time of great scientific experiments and surrounded by political upheaval and intrigues. Intrigued yourself? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
1679. A year has passed since the sensational attempt to murder King Charles II. Harry Hunt – estranged from his mentor Robert Hooke and no longer employed by the Royal Society – meets Sir Jonas Moore, the King s Surveyor-General of the Board of Ordnance, in the remote and windswept marshes of Norfolk. There, workers draining the fenland have uncovered a skeleton. Accompanied by his friend Colonel Fields, an old soldier for Parliament, and Hooke’s niece, Grace, Harry confirms Sir Jonas’s suspicion: the body is that of a dwarf, Captain Jeffrey Hudson, once famously given to Queen Henrietta Maria in a pie.
During the Civil Wars, Hudson accompanied the Queen to France to sell the Royal Jewels to fund her husband s army. He was sent home in disgrace after shooting a man in a duel. But nobody knew Hudson was dead. Another man, working as a spy, has lived as him since his murder. Now, this imposter has disappeared, taking vital information with him. Sir Jonas orders Harry to find him. Harry’s search takes him to Paris, another city bedevilled by conspiracies and intrigues. He navigates its salons and libraries, and learns of a terrible plot against the current Queen of England, Catherine of Bragança, and her gathering of Catholics in London. Assassins plan to poison them all…
After reading the first book in this series, I was looking forward to diving back in and being swept away characters who have become like good ol friends. I was not disappointed, in fact I was enthralled by the latest adventure of Hunter’s this time instead of being under his master? Friend? Colleague? Tutor’s? guidance he’s off on his own with a few companions… an old soldier recently feeling young again due to a romantic tangle with Hunter’s landlady, and a dashing young “man” who isn’t what they appear to be. There is as always a death or a discovery of one, and this one seems to be laden with hidden intrigued and political conniving with a treasonous plot thrown in for good measure.
I loved it, and you are instantly captivated and swept away to the marshes of Norfolk, to the grand vistas and darkly devious streets of Paris to the chaotic noise and rumble of London. This also travels back to a time of war, heroics and legends of what happened to such characters as the small man who was held in high esteem with Queen Henrietta during the Civil War and how all these stories and deceptions have come back to lay havoc to the governing body and the royal family. You find yourself drawn into the story and just as the characters themselves you are not sure who to trust and who is lying to deceive. There are so many twists and turns which lead you down paths and then divert you on to another. This is an exceptional novel and it just keeps getting better and better.
If you haven’t read the first book I would urge you to buy both and read them asap!!
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Robert J Lloyd, the son of parents who worked in the British Foreign Office, grew up in South London, Innsbruck, and Kinshasa. He studied for a Fine Art degree, starting as a landscape painter, but it was while studying for his MA degree in The History of Ideas that he first read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary man. After a 20-year career as a secondary school teacher, he has now returned to painting and writing. He is the author of The Bloodless Boy, which was selected by Publishers Weekly as a Mystery Book of the Year and The New York Times as a Best New Historical Novel of 2021.
I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful, atmospheric and thrilling historical mystery, if you are wanting a copy for yourself you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Steve Cooper for organising this gripping and thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to read and review a finished copy of this marvellous book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, B. A. Paris for creating such a tense and gripping novel about Stockholm Syndrome and the relationship you feel with your captors and how that can change you in many ways. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.
Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?….
As soon as I turned the first page I was hooked, there is something in us that finds characters misfortunes tense yet also gripping and how they try to find ways to escape. We follow Amelie who’s childhood was hard and quite lonely. How she then tries to find work and friends only to find herself also married to an heir of a vast fortune. This is where things start to get interesting and messy for our heroine. I found myself wondering whether Amelie is innocent as she tries to appear to be or whether she didn’t really know what she was getting into when marrying her psycho husband, who seems to have power to be able to murder her friends, two of whom I grant you were trying to open her eyes but at the same time it does seem a bit ott to send someone to get rid of them. (Granted I have never been in a relationship with a wealthy man so I can’t say whether this would happen or not). But I do feel she was given plenty of warning and opportunities to just say no sorry I’ll get there on my own initiative. But that’s only one part of the story it’s not just about a manipulative, narcissistic and selfish person, it’s about the consequences that come and who else gets swept up in their own demise.
I found the hostage situation incredibly interesting and how she feels strangely safer with her captors than her own husband. I won’t go further and spoil this brilliant and thrilling book, but I would urge you to grab a copy of this story and just sit and be captivated.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 ( warning addictive book reading may cause half filled mugs and crumbs)
B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, Bring Me Back, The Dilemma and The Therapist. Having sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide, she is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her novels have been translated into 40 languages, and Film and TV rights to Behind Closed Doors have been optioned. She is currently based in the UK.
I hope you have enjoyed this dark, disturbing and gripping journey into the kidnapper and their victims and how bonds are somehow forged. If you are interested in getting a copy you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Viper for inviting me onto this thrilling and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you for allowing me to read and review a physical proof copy which I could not put down. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Leonora Nattrass for creating another atmospheric and swashbuckling tale on the high seas. Where we find ourselves wondering who could be the murderer and what will happen next!!! Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Death came aboard with the Cormorant. It arrived on the seventh day of our voyage…..
This is the secret report of disgraced former Foreign Office clerk Laurence Jago, written on the mail ship Tankerville en route to Philadelphia. His mission is to aid the civil servant charged with carrying a vital treaty to Congress that will prevent the Americans from joining with the French in their war against Britain.
When the civil servant meets an unfortunate “accidental” end, Laurence becomes the one person standing between Britain and disaster. It is his great chance to redeem himself at Whitehall – except that his predecessor has taken the secret of the treaty’s hiding place to his watery grave.
As the ship is searched, Laurence quickly discovers that his fellow passengers – among them fugitive French aristocrats, an American plantation owner, an Irish actress and her performing bear – all have their own motives to find the treaty for themselves. And as a second death follows the first, Laurence must turn sleuth in order to find the killer before he has an “accident” of his own.
Avast you reading land lubbers!!! Ok I will calm down and will never try talking like that again (hehe). This book has everything you need adventure, pirates, murderers, shenanigans a plenty and a lot of tension and a group of fascinating cast of characters which are heaped together in one place, and where someone has murderous and devious intentions on board. I loved being back with Laurence and his American friend, though at times I still found Laurence a little bit simple and too trusting with others, also how he didn’t realise where his colleague kept the treaty I honestly don’t know!!! But I love how the plot unfolds and you either sympathise or feel a burning desire to shout at each character either “stop!!!, Don’t do it!!! or “don’t trust them!!” You become if not part of the story but involved with each character and their fates.
With it continuing on from where we left Laurence in the previous book (Black Drop, I would honestly urge you to read if you haven’t) it felt like there hadn’t been a break, from the first page you are gripped right up to the last and I really want to know more about what happens to Laurence next…
I won’t spoil any more of this wonderful book, as it is not yet out but I can assure you it’s a pleasure to read and really gives you a sense of life on the high seas and how people in a tight space can come together and make it an enjoyable voyage but where there is danger, tension and suspicion it can create an atmosphere of fear and betrayal that can quickly ignite into something quite violent. Leonora has done it again and I am left with wanting more….
I would highly recommend this superb novel for anyone who loves espionage and historical fiction.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Leonora Nattrass studied eighteenth-century literature and politics, and spent ten years lecturing in English and publishing works on William Cobbett. She then moved to Cornwall, where she lives in a seventeenth-century house with seventeenth-century draughts, and spins the fleeces of her traditional Ryeland sheep into yarn. Black Drop is her first novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this brilliant and evocative account of murder, secrets and espionage on the high seas and if you are wanting a copy for yourself you can preorder a copy from Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this wonderful and enchanting book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to both Rachel and Manilla Press for allowing me to read and review a digital copy for celebrating the release of the Paperback copy. I would also like to say thank you to the creative genius, Liz Hayder for creating such an enchanting, wonderful, heartbreaking and beautiful book about women finding the courage to be heard and to fight for themselves even if there are people who would abuse and denigrate us. It’s powerful and emotive and yet also gentle too. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
It will take something extraordinary to show four women who they truly are……
October 1840. A young woman staggers through a forest in Shropshire as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.
Meanwhile, when rumours of a ‘fallen angel’ causes a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the woman he seeks in the most terrible danger…..
How do I start off my review on this wonderful, enchanting and fascinating tale, begin at the beginning I hear you say. Well I could and most likely should, but honestly if you have read this I hope you get the same sort of wonder and see after you had read this book. I found myself engrossed in these four women’s stories which are both saddening, maddening and yet with one an awakening of who she wants to be and luckily has the support from some good and helpful allies.
Each character has a particular passion which is either being ignored by society in which they live or else due to circumstances of marriage have left it gather dust, or have let others get away with accolades for their own works or should I say words. I love this characters tale as she is part of a family of newspapermen, I love how she’s been brought up by two men (who secretly love each other but because of society and how they perceive people of this way have to hide their own desires) and due to grief has to try to rally her remaining “uncle” into getting back to work by helping him write out his columns.
There’s also a much darker and gothic tale to this as well with a surgeon who’s desperate to do anything for fame and fortune and having come across a ‘fallen angel’ he becomes dangerously obsessed with his finds, where he loses sight of what actually might be more important if he would only listen to his heart and not his cunning mind. His wife finds out that his obsession of whatever it is, is driving a wedge between them and sees her beloved slowly but surely disappearing beneath the onslaught of a terrible monster, that is feeding off of his obsession.
There is also the tale of a woman who comes to London to seek help from a long lost cousin only to find that he’s been dead and gone awhile and that what she thought would be an easier and hard working life turns into a nightmare of despair and misery as she dwells in the half light of the down trodden and poor.
And another of a woman who’s family do not acknowledge her and have sidelined her to a cottage where she feels safe and can focus her passion on the life that surrounds her, mainly the natural world and how each question makes her doubt that there is this higher being. In each case apart from one there is a rising sense of anger and frustration at how unfair society views them and their way they want to live their life which doesn’t conform to societies expectations.
I won’t go further than that, but I fell in love with the story and how throughout the whole plot, there’s a sense of love, hope and that the people who denigrate us and try to make us feel bad are In themselves sad and lonely and probably even more fearful of themselves. This is such a beautiful and moving book and I found myself captivated and swept away by each tale of strong and determined women battling against society’s expectations and their own beliefs in themselves. I urge you to grab a copy for yourself and lose yourself in a dark, disturbing and yet also loving world.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Liz Hayder has been making up stories for as long she can remember. She has a BA in drama from the University of Bristol and, in early 2018, won the Bridge Award/ Moniack Mhor Emerging Writer Award. Bearmouth, her debut young adult novel, won a Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Branford Boase Award and was chosen as the Children’s Book of the Year by The Times. Originally from London, she now lives in South Shropshire. The Gifts is her debut adult novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into a compelling, engrossing tale about women who feel that the world is too small to take them and their anger and desire to make the world their own. And out their wings a gift? Or a curse? If you are wanting a copy for yourself you can find this in Waterstones, independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a brilliant and wonderful tour for this fascinating and gripping book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Ginger Cat the publishers for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this intriguing tale. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, G D Harper for finding a historical account and turning it into a tale of the bonds of sisterly love, the hardship of being conjoined in a world where anything strange or odd and unusual could be seen as a sign of divine intervention or devilish manipulation. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
‘There is no me; There is no you. There is only us’.
The Maids of Biddenden is inspired by real-life story of conjoined twins Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst, born in 1100 into a wealthy family from a small Kent village.
Joined at the hip, the sisters overcome fear and hostility to grow into gifted and much-loved women – one a talented musician and song-writer, the other a caring healer and grower of medicinal plants. Entangled in the struggles for power and influence of the great Kent nobles of the time, they achieve much in their lifetimes and leave behind a legacy in Biddenden that still survives today.
I find myself trying to think of words to best describe how wonderfully captivating this book is and it’s very hard, not because it’s not but because it’s incredibly brilliant and gripping that words cannot do it justice. As soon as I picked the book up I was entranced in the story both the fictionalised account as well as the true tale (which granted can also have fiction meandering it’s way through like most urban/folk tales do). I found myself following the lives of two remarkable women both in their own right but also in their circumstances which would have been tough and hard, if they hadn’t been born into wealth and privilege in the first place.
Due to this, we get to see a rare glimpse into life in the medieval times from the perspective of someone who could have easily been shunned and exiled due to their condition because of fear and superstition. But simply due to who they were born into and their class I feel that they were able to somewhat survive because of that privilege, but whether they also survived the slings and casual cruelty thrown at them, well that’s another matter entirely. This tale of extraordinary women who fought to gain people’s love and acceptance meant that even today people still remember them (even today!!!). But as you can see I am more interested in the actual life than maybe the intriguing and beautiful tale. I found that I wasn’t able to like the sisters particularly, it’s not the writing that had me gripped from the start to the finish. I just felt there was something cold about them, I think it’s how Eliza acts towards her sister (which granted is understandable) but it shows throughout the whole story, I guess they would have disagreed at some point in their life and who wouldn’t, I just couldn’t get to grips with them.
This story is just brilliantly and evocatively compelling, I urge you to at least buy this and read it for yourself it’s both a bardic tale and also a historical account of sisters trying to find their place in the world which differed from each other and a world where they can find love for each other.
Rating: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
GD Harper is a past winner of a Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Lightship Prize for first-time authors and longlisted for the Page Turner Book Award and the UK Novel Writing Award.
His first historical novel, ‘The Maids of Biddenden’, has already been shortlisted for the 2021 Impress Award, longlisted for the 2021 Exeter Novel Prize, the 2021 Cheshire Novel Prize and the Flash 500 Novel Award, and was a 2021 Page Turner Writer Award finalist.
I hope you have enjoyed this wonderfully atmospheric and brilliant story. If you are wanting a copy you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store, and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Head Of Zeus for inviting me to take part on this creepy, chilling and thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you for allowing me to read and review a digital copy. A huge thank you once again to the chillingly talented A.M. Shine, who has created another terrifying, haunting tale of people’s fear of nature, being isolated and also the fear of themselves. Which may have manifested into a mythic tale of “the creeper”. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Renowned academic Dr Sparling seeks help with his project on a remote Irish village. Historical researches Ben and Chloe are thrilled to be chosen – until they arrive.
The village is isolated and forgotten. There is no record of its history, it’s stories. There is no friendliness from the locals, only wary looks and whispers. The villagers lock down their homes at sundown.
It seems a nameless fear stalks the streets, but nobody will talk – nobody except one little girl. Her words strike dread into the hearts of the newcomers. ‘Three times you see him. Each night he comes closer”….
That night, Ben and Chloe, see a sinister figure watching them. He is The Creeper. He is the nameless fear in the night. Stories keep him alive. And nothing will keep him away…..
It’s that time of year when the darkness starts to encroach, the leaves fall and turn a russet red and there’s a little chill in the air. We also get warm comfort style foods and sometimes get tempted to turn up the heater (which we always deny we do). This book is perfect for an autumnal read and especially for a spooky and haunting night. Although I should warn you that if you do read it before bed and sleep, make sure your curtains are drawn or blinds down, you might freak yourself out if you don’t.
I was hooked straight into the story from the very first page and found myself on a dark and twisted journey where legends and myths might not all be a fairytale to frighten kids… what if our nightmares became real? This has elements of the slenderman, bogeyman among other similar folktales and ghostly happenings. The only thing I have a problem with is that I felt no sympathy for any of the characters Ben just came across as down right rude, snarky and not charming. Chloe just was there as the fall guy(girl). The rather sinister older professed guy was I have to admit a brilliant character to add to the sense of creepiness, but the victims? (No spoilers don’t worry) I just couldn’t like them.
Having said that it’s still creepy, eerie, haunting and terrifying. There’s the menace of the natural world vs human presence and also how our modern way of thinking can easily head back to the past and our time of fear of the unknown and that no matter if we are students, professors or village inhabitants we are all still connected back to a time when everything could kill, harm or injure us. I would highly recommend this wonderfully atmospheric book to anyone who loves a good thrill and chill.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 (you might find due to how engrossed you are in the book that you will be left with crumbs and empty mugs)
A.M.Shine writes in the Gothic horror tradition. Born in Galway, Ireland, he received his Master’s Degree in History there before sharpening his quill and pursuing all things literary and macabre. His stories have won the Word Hut and Bookers Corner prizes and he is a member of the Irish Writers Centre. His debut novel, The Watchers, has been critically acclaimed. The Creeper is his second full-length novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this creepy, dark, disturbing and unsettling journey into a tale of nightmares, and an unsettling presence which if you see once he is far away, the second time you see him, he’s nearer…. The third time… well that’s when you have to be afraid!!! If you are looking for a copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to HQ for allowing me to take part on this wonderful and heartwarming book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to HQ for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative genius, Ashley Poston for creating such a fun, unique and wonderful rom com that I am still thinking about it even now. A mixture of arrogant man with a kind and caring woman, with a unique twist of ghosts, undertaking and a little bit of magic. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb to find out more.
Florence Day is a ghost-writer with one big problem. She’s supposed to be penning swoon worthy novels for a famous romance author, but after a bad break-up, Florence no longer believes in love. And when her strict (but undeniably hot) new editor, Benji Andor, won’t give her an extension on her new deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye.
Although when tragedy strikes and Florence has to head home, the last thing she expects to see is a ghost at her front door. Not just any ghost, however, but the stern form of her still very hot – yet now unquestionably dead – new editor.
As sparks start to fly between them, Florence tells herself she can’t be falling for a ghost – even an infuriatingly sexy one. But can Benji help Florence to realise love isn’t dead, after all?
Wow, I knew this one would be good but I didn’t know how amazing and just heartwarming it would be. This book isn’t just about love it’s about understanding death and grief and that sometimes it’s ok to ask for help. The characters are just absolutely superb and brilliantly drawn, we have Florence who feels desperate and numb about a work that used to give her life and happiness until heartache makes her not in touch with her romantic side and fears will she ever again?…. We also have Benji, her extremely hot new editor who is also intimidating and stern and gives her an ultimatum that makes her feel more lost than ever. Then disaster strikes and she heads home, to a place that used to be comforting and unchangeable suddenly she finds herself like a stranger and finds that having to interact with her family again and trying to build the bonds may take her mind off her own troubles.
Obviously the romance isn’t left hanging and soon it feels like fate is trying to draw two, what would seem unlikely, people together.I won’t spoil anymore of this wonderful book, but I loved this brilliant, movingly enchanting tale, that not only show’s relationships flaws and weaknesses, but also how shared grief and a ghost stubborn enough to care and help out can bring about positive change and of course that extra magic… romance. This is an emotional and endearing book and one that has captured my heart. If you are looking for a new take on the Rom-Com trope then look no further than this beauty. I would urge you to grab this copy and read it straightaway.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with a few 🍪s too.
Ashley Poston writes stories about love and friendship and ever afters. A native to South Carolina, she now lives in a small grey house with her sassy cat and too many books (heaven to me!!!). You can find her on the internet, somewhere, watching cat videos and reading fan-fiction.
I hope you have enjoyed this charming, moving and warm-hearted book, about love, death, grief and finding out that sometimes magic can happen it might be slow and it might be small but sometimes love does prevail. If you are wanting a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Sriya Varadharajan at Penguin Michael Joseph for inviting me onto this thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Penguin Michael Joseph for allowing me to read and review a physical proof copy. Lastly I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Alaina Urquhart, for creating such a disturbing, dark and twisted tale that takes elements from infamous serial killers to create a truly chilling monster. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Wren was never afraid of the dark. Until she learned that some Monsters are real…..
In deep Louisiana, a serial killer with a taste for medical experimentation is completing his most ambitious project yet. The media call him “The Butcher” – and so far, he’s proved impossible to catch.
With her encyclopaedic knowledge for humanities darkest minds, and years of experience in examining their victims, forensic pathologist, Dr Wren Muller, is the best there is. The longer the Butcher’s killing spree continues, the more determined she is to bring him to justice.
And yet, he continues to elude her.
As body after body piles up on Wren’s examination table, her obsession grows. Pressure to put an end to the slaughter mounts. And her enemy becomes more brazen.
How far is Wren willing to go to draw the Butcher into the light?……
This is an exceptional, thrilling and gripping book. I found myself captivated by the story and couldn’t put it down till I had finished the whole book. What a page turner!!! If you are looking for a catch me if you can style thriller this is one for all you crime fiction lovers to enjoy. It has everything to get your teeth into. Set in luscious, deep Louisiana (which for me makes the whole setting truly terrifying and unique) amidst the swamps and the whole myths and legends that have sprung up in the part of America. With characters that are both flawed and also shine with their honesty and stubbornness and determination to never give up even if it looks bleak. We have Dr Wren Muller, who’s the forensic medical examiner, who’s commitment to her bodies (or victims she dissects to help police) is second to none. There’s also the detective who’s sole purpose it seems is to catch this man the media dub the Butcher, so that everyone is safe from him.
There are also the victims that are given voice too and of course the killer and his warped mind. But this isn’t really about him as such it’s how an investigation into these killings can stall or pick up speed which can all hinge on one tiny mistake on the killers part and it doesn’t have to be a big thing it can be something so small that even the killer cannot think what it could be. And that can make the difference in this cat and mouse game. I loved how real and tense it got the more you get into the story. I won’t go further and spoil this brilliant book, but I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves Kathy Reichs, Hannibal Lecter, Chris Carter and many more authors and their creations. I am desperate for more by this author.
Ratings: 5 🌟 with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 (just to warn you, that on finishing this book, you might find you are left with crumbs and empty mugs)
Alaina Urquhart is the science-loving co-host of the chart-topping show Morbid: A True Crime Podcast. As an autopsy technician by trade, she offers a unique perspective from deep inside the morgue. Alaina hails from Boston, where she lives with her wonderful husband, John, their three amazing daughters, and a ghost Puggle named Bailey. She is about 75 percent coffee, and truly believes she and Agent Clarice Starling could be friends.
Before writing her first psychological horror novel, she received degrees in criminal justice, psychology, and biology. When she isn’t hosting Morbid, she hosts the Parcast original show Crime Countdown, and a horror movie podcast called Scream!. Her days are usually spent either recording or eviscerating. The way she sees it, when she hangs up her microphone for the day, it’s time to let the dead speak.
I hope you have enjoyed this dark, disturbing and thrilling journey into the darkest minds imaginable. If you are desperate to read this wonderful book, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to SquadPod for organising this Sandtember month of bookish delights and authors who are published by the wonderful Sandstone Press with the hope that one, a few or all will grab your interest and treat yourself to one of these gems. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Sandstone Press for allowing us to basically sing their praises and inundate them with orders (I hope). Here’s one such brilliant jewell which you can find in their catalogue. So this last thank you is to the creative talent, Jamie Mollart, for creating a disturbing, surreal and strange world that seems familiar but is also dying and has changed due to climate change among other things too. Intrigued? Well we will head to the blurb, and there will be a bit of a review but I am keeping it short as there’s an extra treat in store… there’s a Q&A!!! How I do spoil you. Anyway let’s get cracking.
The Earth’s resources are dwindling. The solution is the Sleep.
Inside a hibernating city, Ben struggles with his limited waking time, and the disease stealing his wife from him. Watching over the sleepers, lonely Peruzzi craves the family he never knew.
Everywhere dissatisfaction is growing
The City is about to wake.
This is a fantastic, gripping, disturbing and incredibly emotive book, it’s about a world that dramatically lost most of its landmass and so to reduce this loss and the fact us humans have caused this mess there is a system being imposed called the Sleepers where for three or four months some people (not sure how many) are put to sleep and then at a certain time they are then awoken till they are then put to sleep again and so on. There are also the people who look out for them called the Janitors, they supervise their I guess block of peoples health and well being and also their wealth. Sounds simple and quite idyllic you might say, but as in most sci fi dystopian novels there is also a negative to this way of life.
We follow and observe a few characters from both sides of the sleepers and janitors and watch as their actions cause chaos on this fragile system. But also there is no healthcare with this way of life and Ben and Rosie have to struggle with this horrific disease that wipes the ones we love and replaces it with a shell of that person, Ben finds himself having to care for her and also be the sole person to do everything to make sure they can live as comfortably as they can. But again there is another twist and the secrets and lies he has been holding on to start to unravel.
We also follow a Janitor and see how his friend lures him away from what would have been a fault cushy job, only to find that he has been waiting for an opportunity to find out who he is and where his family are… these two souls are desperate in their own way and there is a thread that connects them… but I won’t spoil anything. This book has it all a gripping and page turning story and one that really tugs at your heart, I have to admit I couldn’t read Ben scenes caring for his wife without trying to hold back tears as (in my personal life it’s also happening not to me but family). Those scenes were hard to read but they also gave a human element to the scene that’s poignant as there is no medical care for her so she’s left to just disappear in her mind. Whilst their partner have to see their loved one vanish bit by bit… if that doesn’t get you…
Anyway now on to the exciting bit…. The part we have all been waiting for… Q&A time!!!!
Q1: Without giving too much away, could you tell us a bit about your new novel, Kings of a Dead World?
A: In a world without resources people are put to sleep for 3 months and awake for 1, while Janitors watch over them. Things start to go wrong. It’s about culpability on a personal and global level, a study of toxic male relationships, a love story and a thriller.
Q2: You weave multiple points of view and timelines together in Kings of a Dead World – could you tell us about how you made each of those threads feel unique, but still very much part of the same story?
A: I actually wrote them as standalone stories so they maintained their individual voices. I’d extensively planned the overall narrative so I knew what I wanted to happen overall and in each. Then I went away and crafted each one.
Q3: Could you tell us a bit about Ben and Peruzzi, the two main characters in Kings of a Dead World?
A: They represent the two sides of the Sleep. Ben is one of the Sleepers so his time is very precious, especially as his wife is ill. Peruzzi is a Janitor who looks over them. He lives a life where time is meaningless, but he is lonely and lost.
Q4: Now for a really big question: Do you think sci-fi predicts or informs the future? (Neither is also an acceptable answer!)
A: Ooosh, that is a big question. Can I say both? JG Ballard was really good at predicting the future. In many ways sci-fi is more a reflection of the times in which it is written. It gives you an intellectual distance to study things from.
Q5: You’ve written about the role and roots of dystopian fiction for @Climate_Writers – I wondered if you could give us a snapshot of what you think dystopian fiction is ‘for,’ and tell us a bit about how you see Kings of a Dead World fitting in with that?
A: People like to psychologically prepare for real disasters by taking a dry run. Dystopia plays into this & acts as a dress rehearsal. Its a way of jumping to the end of the story & considering consequences without having to live through what gets us there.
Q6: While we’re on the subject of dystopia, why do stories about the end of the world appeal to you?
A: I think there’s a bit of schadenfreude in there, but I’m a kid of the 70s and grew up on movies like Planet of the Apes and The Omega Man – absolute classics. Which is also why I love Heike’s cover so much, she captured the spirit of this era of films perfectly.
A: World building is about knowing what you don’t show. It took me 5 years to write this book and a lot of it was spent creating the mythology of the world in my head. I wrote 100000 words which aren’t in the novel, so I know it inside out & backwards. That’s key.
Q8: The environment is clearly something you’re concerned about – I wondered how much that concern fed into Kingsof a Dead World, and how much it came from research for the book?
A: The concern came before the research. It’s where the ideas and the themes came from. I took the idea of humans trying to solve the mess we’re making ourselves to the furthest point I could think which seemed plausible and then researched how to get there.
Q9: What inspired and influenced you in writing this book? Were there particular films, novels, or even scientific papers that you drew on?
A: I hardly dare say it, but the idea came to me in a dream, so the biggest influence is my weird subconscious. Obviously appropriate, but a wee bit naff! And that’s been influenced by JG Ballard, China Mieville, Cormac McCarthy and the aforementioned 70s movies.
Ratings: 5 🌟s (for the book) with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with a few 🍪 or two because dear god is this addictive to read.
Jamie Mollart’s first novel, The Zoo, was published in 2015 and he was made an Amazon Rising Star. He is a long running guest on Litopia, and has taught novel writing for Writing School Leicester. Jamie has won awards for his work in marketing, and is director of a creative advertising agency.
I hope you have enjoyed this marvellous and disturbing book and also got a little hint into the devious mind of the book’s creator. You can find this in all bookstores as well as on Amazon, but I would urge you most strenuously to buy from Sandstone Press as they are a small independent publisher and are just wonderful, this is but one of the many many many gems which they have published. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to my blogger friends in SquadPod for organising this wonderful blogging extravaganza for helping promote a brilliant independent, Sandstone Press that has some truly unique array of gems it produces. There is not one but two of these gems I will be helping shout about and this one Caged Little Birds is one of them. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Sandstone Press for allowing me to read and review this thrilling copy. I would also like to say thank you to the creative genius, Lucy Banks for creating such a complex, intriguing and hard hitting subjects that really make you think about our choices and what it means to other people. This book highlights the many issues of how people from prison who have done their time find it hard to get back into society in which they have been exiled from and it also asks whether people can change or do they fall back into bad habits. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
The public think Ava’s a monster. Ava thinks she’s blameless.
In prison, they called her Butcher Bird – but Ava’s not in prison anymore. Released after 25 years to a new identity and a new home, Ava finally has the quiet life she’s always wanted.
But someone knows who she is. The lies she told are about to unravel…..
As soon as this book fell into my hands, I think it was the day I opened up the parcel, I was hooked. This is more than just about redemption, suspense and thriller, it’s also about mental health and how we as a society treat others especially those who have done wrong. With Ava we assume (at first) has been misaligned, but throughout the book we get this creeping sensation that she doesn’t see what she did wrong and why her actions have led her to change her name.
I found myself feeling some sympathy for her but gradually I found myself wondering whether she is also lying to herself about her actions. I also wanted to try and stop that lovely man she befriends that no don’t go there with her, she’s not well, but ofc this is a novel and the tension has to rise. I loved how real and just how difficult it is for people from prison to adapt to life outside and how easy it is to fall back on bad ways because it’s all they know or they feel that people won’t accept them because of their pasts. I am not saying that everyone’s past is easy to forget but if you have been given a new identity you should at least be given a chance to be redeemed.
This is a book that makes you think about the hard issues and that nothing is ever black or white but shades of grey. I would highly recommend this brilliant book.
Ratings: 5 🌟 with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Lucy Banks Originally from Hertfordshire, moved to Devon, where she promptly fell in love with the landscape and lifestyle. Author of the Dr Ribero’s Agency of the Supernatural series, and winner of several literary awards and competitions, she lives with her husband, two children, and extremely boisterous cat.
I hope you have enjoyed this fascinating and compelling book about mental health and life after commuting a crime and what happens when you breach the rules on your release. If you want to grab a copy I would highly recommend you buy from Sandstone Press, they are a small independent and need as much of our help as possible. You can also buy it in the usual places. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me onto this creepy, chilling and wonderfully crafted book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Orenda Books (Karen Sullivan) for allowing me to read a digital copy of this marvellously gripping book and damnit you got me again!!! If I could I would sell my soul to Orenda just to acquire these wonderful books. Lastly and by no means least I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius or mastermind, Johanna Gustawsson in creating such a chilling, creepy and thrilling book which deals with bullying, sexual assault, psychosis and grief and loss. This is not just about witches, cults or ghouls.. it’s about loss of control and wanting more than they have. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
One extraordinary mystery…..
1899. Belle Époque Paris.
Lucienne’s two daughters are believed dead whenher mansion burns to the ground, but she is certain that her girls are still alive and embarks on a journey into the depths of the spiritualist community to find them.
1949. Post-War Quebec.
Teenager Lina’s father has died in the French Resistance, and as she struggles to fit in at school, her mother introduces her to an elderly woman at the asylum where she works, changing Lina’s life in the darkest way imaginable.
A former school teacher is accused of brutally stabbing her husband – a famous university professor – to death. Detective Maxine Grant, who has recently lost her own husband and is parenting a teenager and a new baby single-handedly, takes on the investigation.
Under enormous personal pressure, Maxine makes a series of macabre discoveries that link directly to historical cases involving black magic and murder, secret societies and spiritism…. and women at breaking point, who will stop at nothing to protect the ones they love….
As soon as I (digitally) turned the pages, I knew I was in for one creepy, chilling and enthralling ride. I found the tale of three generations of women are connected by a feeling of loss, anger and either protecting themselves from others hurt or ones they love. We follow a mothers uncontrollable grief in losing her children and believing that they are alive somewhere and using the new fad at the time… spiritualism to help her find them.
We then have a young girl, a teenager who has been bullied for her different ways until she meets another of the older residences who shows her a secret and which takes her on a disturbing and dark path. Then we follow a police officer who’s family life has been thrown into turmoil, grieving for the death of her husband and having to single handedly look after a teenager and a young baby, then a case appears that focuses her on path that could be redemption or find out all their secrets.
This was such a masterpiece of a story, I was hooked line and sinker into working out how and why all these people were connected and I gradually felt a dawning sense of horror as I realised why. Seriously it was like getting goosebumps downs your arm it was that gradual and creepy. I loved the tense atmosphere in each little snippet of time as you the reader see it all laid out for you to follow like crumbs to mark your way out from a dark wood. I found the characters both disturbing and yet also human, they are women feeling abused, unloved and shunned by the people that should be loving them and showing them sympathy and understanding. This was such a brilliant read and perfect for anyone who loves a creepy, tense and atmospheric thriller that also has a witchy vibe to it.
Though I won’t spoil any part of this twisted and disturbing book, I just have to mention that the ending is one which leaves you feeling awe at the way the author has managed to tidy everything together and how you as the reader are only aware near the end you never really get it all but you see the whole picture and it just blows your mind. I would highly recommend you get hold of this beautiful and spooky book.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 ( a perfect accompaniment to this book… and one where you might find yourself surrounded by empty mugs and crumbs of devastation after you have finished this book)
Johanna Gustawsson Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series, including Block 46, Keeper and Blood Song, has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in nineteen countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. The Bleeding – a number one bestseller in France and the first in a new series – will be published in 2022. Johana lives in London with her Swedish husband and their three sons.
I will also introduce the translator too, as their hard work has meant we get to read these gems.
David Warner translates from French and nurtures a healthy passion for Franco, Nordic and British crime fiction. Growing up in deepest Yorkshire, he developed incurable Francophilia at an early age. Emerging from Oxford with a Modern Languages degree he narrowly escaped the graduate rat race by hopping on a plane to Canada – and never looked back. More than a decade into a high-powered commercial translation career, he listened to his heart and turned his hand to the delicate art of literary translation. David has lived in France and Quebec, and now calls beautiful British Columbia home.
I hope you have enjoyed this haunting, chilling, creepy, dark and disturbing look into people’s madness of grief, anger and a desperation to be noticed. If you are wanting to grab a copy for yourself you can pre-order now or you can wait till publication and grab a copy in Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Aries Fiction (Head of Zeus) for allowing me to read and review a copy of this marvellous book and to take part on this fantastic tour. I would also like to say thank you to the historic genius, Dan Jones, for what I can only describe as a mad, bad and adventurous and fantastic novel on a group of mercenaries during the 100 years war and how each of these men are given voice and a life in which for these men they are just men used like pawns in a game between warring neighbours or kingdoms. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
The Hundred Years War has begun, and King Edward and his lords are on the march through France. But this war belongs to the men on the ground.
Swept up in the bloody chaos, a tight-knit company from Essex must stay alive long enough to see their home again. With sword, axe and longbow, the Essex dogs will fight, from the landing beaches of Normandy to the blood soaked field of Crécy.
There’s Pismire, small enough to infiltrate enemy camps. Scotsman, strong enough to tear down a wall. Millstone, a stonemason who’ll do anything to protect his men. Father, a priest turned devilish by the horrors of war. Romford, a talented young archer on the run from his past. And Loveday FitzTalbot, their battle-scarredcaptain, who just wants to get his boys home safe.
Some men fight for glory. Others fight for coin. The Essex Dogs? They fight for each other.
This is a searing and gripping read, one in which that will leave you hanging on your seat, bellowing with laughter and gasping in disbelief and also at times filled with emotion as you follow these bands of brothers fighting, dying and also trying to live to see another day. Dan makes a compelling storyteller and his characters are full to life and breathing curses like smoke. This is a book that puts hair on your chest and makes you want to drink loads of beer and get into brawls (please don’t actually do this).
I loved how evocative and slow, laborious and often a little bit boring a campaign into enemy territory a war march can be. And then when the fighting starts it’s quick, brutal and messy, there is no finesse just brutal savagery and a desire or madness to live and kill. I loved how each men get their own backstory and how each are connected and strengthened by their bonds to one another. This is more than just a good ol men fighting and bashing each other, it’s about the differences between the lords and aristocracy compared with the harsh, brutal and at times frugal existence with which the common man or battle-hardened mercenaries have to survive.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history and how messy, boring, tedious and yet also exciting and tense battles could be. I should warn you this isn’t a pretty, rose tinted book, it’s brutal, savage and furiously messy and bloody but it’s also emotional and just brilliant.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with 🍻 and 🍖 (sorry ☕️ and 🍰 just doesn’t quite cut it with this book 😉)
Dan Jones is the Sunday Times and the New York Times bestselling author of ten non-fiction books, including The Templars, The Colour of Time and Powers and Thrones. He is a renowned writer, broadcaster and journalist, and has for many years wanted to write authentic but action-packed historical fiction (which I can honestly say he has achieved). His debut novel Essex Dogs, is the first in a planned trilogy following the fortunes of ten ordinary soldiers in the early years of the Hundred Years’ War. He lives in London with his family.
I hope you have enjoyed this brilliantly written, action-packed, brutal and gripping read. If you are desperate for a copy I would urge you to pre order, or if not to go into Waterstones, or any independent store or even go onto Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to take this moment to say Thank you and goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II who died yesterday, my thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family, she has been the rock throughout all my life and now it’s an end of an era and the beginning of a new one. I would like to say thank you to Anne Cater (Random Things Tours) for inviting me onto this charming and cozy book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Cassell for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this fascinating book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the author, Nigel Richardson for sharing his love and passion for old things (or bits of junk from the ground) and how these little bits of history can help bring the past back to life in a snapshot of time. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Each new field is hope, each old one reality.
There are things below the surface that pull people together in a shared love of history, landscape and the hope that this time, something incredible will be unearthed.
When a travel writer is stuck on home soil in the middle of a pandemic he tried his hand at metal detecting – and is instantly addicted. This all-consuming hobby takes around the country, back through history and deep into the psyches (his own included) of those hooked on ‘happy bleeps’.
I know that we are going through a historic, and saddening end of the second Elizabethan age and that all our thoughts and feelings are on the memories of our late Queen who rules longer than any monarch. But if you can there is a lovely, charming and intriguing book which I think is perfect for this time, it will comfort you and make you chuckle and for a little while make you realise that though it will be odd for a bit we will find ourselves getting back into a rhythm again.
I found this book absolutely entertaining and joyful, also incredibly funny as we observe the author constantly coming up with nothing until he finds his own goal, that of finding a coin. There’s also the delicate matter of archaeologists vs metal detectorists where there’s a highly contentious issue of placement of finds and how hard it is for amateurs to understand the process of what happens if you do find a hoard or something of historical value? This book does give out information to anyone who’s interested and who’s just begun to dive into this addictive hobby.
I also loved the connection of place ( as in the landscape) to the finds and also the historical context too. This is a gem of a book for little information that you otherwise wouldn’t have know was in your garden or even out in the countryside.
If you love history, and the connection of the landscape this is one book you need to read right now.
Ratings: 5 🌟 with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Nigel Richardson is a British journalist and author of five previous books who has worked at the top level for more than 25 years (13 of them on the staff of the Daily Telegraph in London). He writes about history, archaeology, landscapes, culture and wildlife conservation and has won numerous awards and commendations (UK Travel Journalist of the Year, Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week, BBC Radio 4 Pick of the Week etc). Previous books include the travelogues Breakfast in Brighton: Adventures on the Edge of Britain and (with the actor Richard Wilson) Britain’s Best Drives: Journeys Back to the Golden Age of Motoring.
I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful journey into local and National historical past. If you are wanting a copy for yourself you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you Anne Cater of Random Things Tours (also a little thank you to Tracy Fenton for helping out too) for allowing me to take part on this fantastic book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Macmillan for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this wonderful book. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Ann Cleaves for creating such a brilliant, unique and lovable character in Vera Stanhope. This one has all the hallmarks that make this series so beloved of all crime/thriller fans everywhere. Intrigue, secrets, betrayals and of course death and where there’s suspicion of murder it affects not just the victim but everyone who knows them like a ripple affect in a pond from a stone. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.
Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now……
But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface , and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible….
I have loved Vera, mainly due to watching Brenda Blethyn warm our hearts and our TV with her stubborn and unusual ways that at least a few times (if not more) annoy her first in command and a few other colleagues and yet there is something about her that you just want to impress and get that cheeky wink and praise from her. Which a few people tend to find annoying when her favourite seems to be Joe Ashworth (in the books). I fell in love with the stories as soon as I realised they were based on a series of books and my avid collecting has not abated.
Vera to me is as much a legend and a Queen of crime in her own right as say… Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot to name but a few of classic detecting novels (even if not truly part of a police force) the only fair comparison would be Inspector Morse, though I feel she’s a bit more warmer to work with. These books are all set in the glorious, dramatic and grim landscape up north in Northumberland and Newcastle and this is where Ann and her creation Vera come into their own. Because most of these stories are not the usual serial killer Vs the police, it’s more human faults such as greed, revenge and jealousy that swirl in these stories. Which don’t just affect the victim but also the killer and the killers family there are no innocents or even any observer that is not affected by the crime and this is where Vera to me stands out.
This book is just as brilliant, intriguing and gripping as the rest in the series. Set on Holy Island or Lindisfarne (as it is known) we follow a group of friends who have been celebrating their special bond for a long time and which every five years they come to celebrate that trust. But there are secrets in which each of them hold and a night long ago in which one of their number never made it back… alive, and during their time on the island another death occurs only this time there is no other idea apart from murder.
Soon Vera and her team are dragged out to solve a complicated and twisty tale of betrayal, lies and deceit which could go back decades but do they have time to crack the case? Or will it end in more deaths including their own.
I loved loved loved this book and urge you and everyone else to sit down and read it, you don’t have to read them in order it could be this book is your first Vera, but if you are like me and love reading them in order that’s also fine. I would highly recommend this superb book to anyone.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 ( with maybe a 🥃 to swish it down with)
Ann Cleaves is the author of more than thirty-five critically acclaimed novels, and in 2017 was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn, who can be found on television in ITV’s Vera, BBC One’s Shetlandand ITV’s The Long Call respectively. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide.
Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann also spends her time advocating for reading to improve health and wellbeing and supporting access to books. In 2021 her Reading for Wellbeing project launched with local authorities across the North East. She lives in North Tyneside where the Vera books are set.
I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful, deadly and yet gripping and thrilling journey into the darkest part of normal everyday life that can occasionally throw murders at you. If you are desperate for a copy of this amazing novel you can find this in Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Sophie Ransom for inviting me to take part on this gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Head of Zeus for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this intriguing tale. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Martin Edwards, for crafting a splendid “Golden Age Crime Fiction” homage. Just with more darkness and sinister aspects. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Yorkshire 1606. A man vanishes from a locked gatehouse in a remote village. 300 years later, it happens again.
Autumn 1930. Journalist Nell Fagan knows there’s only one person who can get to the bottom of this mystery: Rachel Savernake. But someone wants Nell dead, and soon, while investigating a series of recent deaths at Blackstone Sanatorium, she’s missing entirely.
Looking for answers, Rachel travels to lonely Blackstone Fell, with its eerie moor, deadly waters and sinister tower. With help from Jacob Flint – who’s determined to expose a fraudulent medium at a séance – Rachel will risk her life to bring an end to the disappearances….
I was instantly gripped as soon as I read the first page, this had me guessing right from the very first mystery until the very end, and no I didn’t see the big reveal and yes I did miss all of the clues, I was too hooked into the story to see them. This is the third book in the Rachel Savernake series and it’s one that speaks to every Golden Age Crime lover it has everything within this book to make locked room mystery fans salivate to try and solve this insidious puzzle.
I feel that you don’t need to entirely read the first two books to understand what is going on or to even feel connected with the characters. But for me (as I am obsessive about reading books in sequence, I have to read the first book and so on) I found myself not liking the main character, Rachel there’s something a bit dubious about her, I also wasn’t entirely sure about most of the characters tbh in the first two books. But in this one it’s definitely a bit more rounded and a lot more of the characters are starting to develop quirks that connect with you on a personal level.
I found the mystery incredibly intriguing and mesmerising and I just had to read to the end to find out how and why it happened. If you love Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and Margery Allingham then this book and series will be right up your alley. This is a much darker and vivid portrayal of life in 1930s Britain and it’s glorious.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Martin Edwards has won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating, Macavity, Poirot and Dagger awards as well as being shortlisted for the Theakston’s Prize. He is president of the Detection Club, a former Chair of the Crime Writer’s Association and consultant to the British Library’s bestselling crime classics series. In 2020 he was awarded the Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to crime fiction.
I hope you have enjoyed this wickedly, gripping, thrilling and puzzling little mysteries. If you are wanting to get hold of a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Steven Cooper and Hodder & Stoughton for organising such a fantastic blog tour for this wonderful book, I would also like to say thank you for my proof copy of this fabulous book it’s an absolute privilege to be able to read and review books so thank you. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Bethany Clift, for creating such a fantastic and unique love(ish) story and one that is completely different to her first book but I think just as good if not slightly better ( who doesn’t love a robot spiderish style pet?) oh and there’s a lovable dog too. Intrigued? let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A book synopsis is fundamentally ridiculous. How can Ipossibly convey, in only 100 words, the events of the past year and their impact on my perfectly ordered existence?
It is insufficient space to accurately detail how I was blackmailed into demonstrating my flawless algorithmto find a soulmate, despite havingno desire for one.
In my former life I avoided trivial human connections. I was alone, accomplished and brilliant.
Unfortunately, that solitary and driven woman no longer exists.
My name is Indiana Dylan and this extraordinary account of how I fell in love.
There: 100 words exactly.
And there you have one of the most intriguing, lovable, hilarious and empathetic character within this brilliant book. Which is good, because that’s the main character, you get to meet a wide range of people some who are best friends to this rather lonely person, that start to become friends and maybe something a bit more. There’s also one of the most unlikeable character I have come across in awhile, but that’s due to how relatable this particular character is as you can see this person in nearly every high powered job where they feel unreachable and have an ego the size of a small planet (only kidding am sure there are lovely CEO’s…. yep definitely)
But it’s the interactions between Indiana and those she meets as she traverses a path where she has to face her fears of talking to people and trying to be nice, which for her is a challenge as she prefers her own company thank you very much… though as you will see (when you read this amazing book) her actually stepping out of her comfort zone and having human contact and conversations makes her see how her whole view point is not as complete as she once thought and that actually having other people to talk to and bounce ideas off might not be such a bad idea at all.
I loved Indiana, though you do warm up to her and by the end you are really gunning for her and hoping that everything turns out ok. I don’t want to spoil anything about this marvellous book, but there are so many questions that are raised and some are morally and really quite hard to define what the correct answer would be, such as is an AI human? and what constitutes illegality when it comes to software and ideas? It also talks about trust, patience and mental health as well as homelessness and the value of treating others with respect and love. In the beginning Indiana comes across as cold, unemotional to the point where I felt she may be a bit psychotic in her not understanding emotions (don’t worry this is not a thriller lol). But gradually you warm to her as the story progresses and she realises it’s ok to have these feelings and it’s ok to ask for help and have friends who can support her and pick her up when she feels down.
There is so much to get into in this book, so many issues and subjects that would have us here discussing the book until next year. I would highly recommend this book to you and would urge you to buy a copy asap!!.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Bethany Clift is a graduate of the Northern Film School and the director of her own production company, Saber Productions. Her debut novel, Last One At The Party , was published in 2021 and the television rights have been optioned by Scott Free Films.
I hope you have enjoyed this, wonderful tale of love, friendships and not giving up and finding that it is ok to make mistakes and it is ok to ask for help when you do fall. If you are wanting to grab a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to HarperCollins for allowing not just me but, a wonderful, lovely and dear friends (The Squadpod) for allowing us to read and review this marvellous and disturbing book about familial obedience and what that might cost the person, their own sense of self or a way to survive in a home that shouldn’t ever be about survival. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful ladies that I have come to love like family you are all wonderful, amazing, talented and gorgeous women and I am so thankful and humbled to be considered a friend and a fellow book blogger. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the brilliant, creative genius, Ella King for creating such a dark, disturbing and gripping novel. intrigued to find out more? let’s head over to the blurb to get a little taste of what this book is about before we dive into my thoughts and feelings of this book.
Lily is a good daughter.
Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges the teddy bears on Mama’s quilt, she puts on her matching pink clothes. Anything to help put out the fire in Mama’s rage.
Mama is a good liar.
But Mama is becoming unpredictable, dangerous. And as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long.
She only wanted to be a good, to help piece Mama back together. But as home truths creep out of the shadows, Lily must recast everything: what if her house isn’t a home – but a prison? What if Mama isn’t a protector – but a monster…….
As soon as I turned the first page, I was sucked into the story and could not escape not even for a moment. The characters just sing out from the pages with both rage, fear, hatred, despair and also hope that there is something better than the current place that they (the main character Lily) is in. I found myself at times with my mouth open in horror, empathy and pain for how much Lily has gone through and how her home, instead of being a sanctuary or a place of love and light, is something dark, disturbing and ominous. We have the central figure I guess the main villain or villainess of the piece, the mother who seems to dominate her family and how they should live their lives. We see that though at times Lily is on her own, she does have siblings though they are older and seem to have been able to escape (sort of) though even they cannot help but be drawn back into their mother’s orbit.
This is such a complex mix of a family that is being controlled and governed by a complicated and devious character. I won’t spoil any more for you only to say that I have never felt myself yearning for a character in such a way that this book has made me feel. You feel for her situation but also feel compelled into wanting to know why her mother acts this way and whether Lily will ever find the courage to leave the house of fear and pain.
I was hooked by this book, and though you at times feel a horror and disgust at the mother you also get to understand her demons that made her this way and which also makes it absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. But it’s this that makes her become the abuser as it gives her a sense of power, even over her own family, which she felt she lost when terrible things were done to her. This hindsight is a gradual thing, and we see many tales from all members of the family and how each person has twisted some of the truth to their own thinking. I cannot highly recommend this book enough.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with a few 🍪 or two… maybe three.
Ella King is a Singaporean novelist living in London. She read Philosophy and Theology at Oxford University and is a corporate lawyer. A graduate of Faber Academy’s novel-writing programme, she won the Blue Pencil Pitch Prize 2019 and came third in the Aurora Prize for Short Fiction 2019. She was inspired to write Bad Fruit by the stories her grandmother told her and her volunteer work with anti-human trafficking and domestic violence charities.
I hope you have enjoyed this little detour into the dark hearts and souls of a home that should be brighter and filled with warmth and of course love. Rather through acts of the past which affect the future, we see the lies that form a shield over the wounds of a woman who is or has broken and will control everyone in her family, until her mind starts to slip and escape seems possible. If you are eager to get hold of a copy for yourself you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to HQ for inviting me to take part on this intriguing and enchanting book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you for HQ for allowing me to read a digital copy of this book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Kirsten Miller for creating such strong, determined women with whom society don’t recognise or even pay attention to the cares, stresses and woes of the middle aged women. This gives them powers in which they can use it to fight back against the patriarchy and men who seem to think women should know their place. Intrigued? Let’s find out a bit more in the blurb.
Nessa: The Seeker
Jo: The Protector
Harriett: The Punisher
With newfound powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…..
After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will only speak to her.
On the cusp of fifty Harriet’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.
Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.
Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.
So it’s up to these three women to avenge the innocent, and punish the guilty……
This book changes everything!!!, it brings out the hidden and ignored women who reach a certain age where they feel used up by their life such as family, their body is also undergoing changes which makes them feel less in control then they used to. But these women find that their change gives them powers which can help the status quo of being lied to, ignored or threatened by men. We have Nessa, who sees or is haunted by the dead that come to her to seek them being found and made to rest, there’s also Jo, the protector who uses her rage to either help with torn muscles or to force someone (men) to stop being idiots. Then there is Harriet, who uses her knowledge of plants and gardening to create her own version of revenge on people who abuse and violate moral code.
This is a powerful and intriguing book about women and our power and how we can use it to affect change in how men and women deal with each other. This is a highly feministic novel and I do say that it’s great reading about women getting back at men who are well awful, but there is a lot of anger in this and though I can understand it I did find it hard to engage with certain characters.
But this isn’t to say it’s not good, because it’s not it’s a thrilling and gripping book, with strong women who find their power and use it to help the vulnerable and victims of a poisonous and misogynistic society. I can guarantee that this is the book you need to read.
Ratings: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with a few 🍪.
Kirsten Miller is an outstanding feminist author in the YA and children’s space, who spent twenty-five years as a strategist in the advertising industry. During that time, she worked for some of the largest agencies in the world – including J Walter Thompson, DDB, Lowe and Ogilvy & Mather, as well as boutique agencies and an eight-person start-up. She’s proud to have quit a senior job at one of the most famous agencies in America over an ad that’s described in The Change.The Change is her first adult novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this powerful, strong story about women getting fed up with men and their antics and getting a chance to overturn the balance of power and letting it become level rather than one sided. If you are eager to get your hands on this, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours for organising another fantastic book tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Bantam Press for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this marvellous book. And finally a huge thank you to the creative talent, Sarah Pearse, for creating such a thrilling, creepy and atmospheric novel, where all the suspects are in place and it’s a race against time to try and stop further murderous chaos. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Most are here to recharge and refresh.
But someone’s here for revenge…..
This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.
A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.
We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.
A storm has been forcast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and it’s history.
As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.
What can I say about this book. In one word…. FANTASTIC!!!! Ok maybe another THRILLING!!! I absolutely loved this book. It had everything you wanted and needed from a crime/mystery thriller. Set on an Agatha Christie-esque island where people can feel both pampered and isolated but when danger comes calling it becomes much more sinister and threatening, especially when the island’s past rises to the surface.
I loved also how we see Elin back at work and rather than off in another country is back in England and trying to get back to some sort of normality (whatever that is). But as with most people it’s never that simple or easy to over come past traumas or even recent history. We watch and follow a few characters perspective of events and how each person has some connection to the victim, and then another incident happens and soon it’s a race against time for Elin to track a killer before they kill again.
This is such a brilliantly twisted and creepy setting where you are not sure who the killer is but you know they must be on the island itself, this has the mysterious elements of ‘And Then There Were None’ by Agatha Christie with an added menace of Stephen King shrouding it. I loved getting to know each character and trying to work out the who, the what and the why. It’s just fantastic.
I cannot wait for more from this author, and I would highly recommend this amazing book to anyone looking for a creepy, atmospheric and chilling thriller.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the university of Warwick, and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains in the Swiss alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her first novel The Sanitarium. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of an idea for her debut novel. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes.
I hope you have enjoyed this dark, creepy and atmospheric journey into a Retreat that’s idyllic and at the same time deadly. If you are wanting to read a copy, you can find this in Waterstones and any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Matson Taylor for being an absolute sweetheart and congratulations for another brilliant book that will brighten up anyone’s day. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Scribner U.K. for allowing me to read and review a physical proof copy of this fun and charming book, and lastly but by no means least, thank you to SquadPod for just being you and for being able to organise such a special blog shout out. This is the second book featuring the lovely and charming Evie Hepworth (if you haven’t read the first book…. Go out and get it The Misecucation of Evie Epworth). Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out what’s happened to Evie since last we saw her.
Ten years on from the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, Evie is settled in London and working as a production assistant for the BBC. She has everything she ever dreamed of (a career, a leatherette briefcase, an Ossie Clark poncho) but, following an unfortunate incident involving a Hornsea Pottery mug and Princess Anne, she finds herself having to rethink her future. What can she do? Is she too old to do it? And will it involve cork-soled sandals?
As if this isn’t complicated enough, her disastrous love life leaves her worrying that she may be destined for eternal spinsterdom, concerned as she is, that ‘even Paul had married Linda by the time he was 26’. Through it all, Evie is left wondering whether a 60s miseducation really is the best preparation to glide into womanhood and face the new challenges (strikes, power cuts, Edward Heath’s teeth) thrown up by the growing pains of the 70s?
This is such a delightful, charming and heartwarming book. It’s about changes and working out what to do next when the road you are on doesn’t pan out the way you expect. As well as that age old question…. Will I ever find someone who gets me? But that’s misleading as it’s not really about the romance, yes of course there is some, but it focuses on how we deal with change, whether it’s getting fired from a job and then having to work out what you really want to do and how to get there.
We also meet up again with Evie and her friends and family, and it feels like taking a warm bath or being hugged by people you haven’t seen in awhile but feel that warm special glow. This book made me laugh, cry and smile with delight. I loved meeting up with Evie again and wondering what chaos she will provide us with. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I can highly recommend this fantastic book.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Matron Taylor grew up in Yorkshire but now lives in London. He is a design historian and works at the V&A museum, where he teaches on the History of Design programme and spends a lot of time trying to convince people that the luxury goods industry helped win the Second World War. He wrote a chapter on Edward Molyneux, inventor of the flapper dress, for the V&A’s London Couture book and has helped develop a number of projects for TV and radio. He also works at Imperial College, helping scientists communicate very complicated things in a reasonably simple way.
As well as working at various universities and museums around the world, Matson has worked on Camden Market, appeared in an Italian TV commercial, and been a pronunciation coach for Catalan opera singers. Mayson completed the Faber writing course, during which he wroteThe Miseducation of Evie Epworth. All About Evie is his second novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this warm, funny and charming novel about confidence in yourself, adapting to big changes and having fun along the way. If you are wanting a copy of this wonderful book you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) with a little help from the lovely Tracy Fenton too for organising this wonderful and thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say a special thank you to Simon and Schuster for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the Queen of Thrills and chills, Kathy Reichs for another outstanding and brilliant Tempe Brennan book and one that is more personal to the character than any other. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb to find out a bit more.
In a profession like this, you’re bound to make enemies…..
It all starts when Dr Temperance Brennan finds a box on her porch. Inside is a fresh human eyeball with GPS coordinates etched into it. They lead her to a macabre discovery in a Benedictine Monastery, and soon after she discovers a mummified corpse in a state park.
For an eye…..
There seems to be no pattern to these killings, except that each mimics a killing connected to something a younger Tempe experienced, or barely escaped. Someone is targeting her, and she needs to figure out why before they strike again.
And then her daughter Katy disappears….
Someone is playing a dangerous game with Tempe. And they won’t stop until they have taken everything from her…..
I was instantly hooked and mesmerised by the latest instalment from the Queen of thrillers and her determined forensic anthropologist alter ego, Temperance Brennan (Dr). As I have mentioned before I am a huge fan of this series and have never been disappointed by any of the stories which come out from the mind of this devious author. And this one is no exception, in fact this one feels more thrilling and more fresh, as we see a vulnerable side to Tempe (it has been shown before and mentioned in one of her earlier novels where a killer tries to get inside her head by threatening her daughter) but this time will the threat actually become a reality and will Tempe find the clues to work out why or will it end in a personal tragedy?…. Don’t worry there will be no spoilers.
(Sorry if you are hoping for one, I don’t do that on here). I absolutely loved getting back with Tempe and her friends, colleagues and of course (lover boy Andy Ryan) and how it’s not always the strangers you have to worry about. What I also loved about this book, was how it looked at how veterans of the army are treated when they come back from war and how their mental health is treated or not. How as a society we treat them when we have no idea what they have seen or dealt with. This really looks at the issues of depression, PTSD and many other diagnoses that lead these men and women to fall through the cracks in society and which can make them become invisible to us. It’s not just looking at the usual serial killer versus the hounds of justice but how as a society we are also to blame for not caring for our destitute and homeless.
This is an excellent and twisted book, I would highly recommend this and the rest of the series if you haven’t already read the series.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 (this book will have you hooked, I warn you, you won’t be able to put it down).
Kathy Reichs’s first novel Deja Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Beat First Novel and was an international bestseller. Cold, Cold Bones is Kathy’s twenty-first entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of Fox Television’s longest running scripted drama, Bones, which was based on her work and her novels. One of the very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Kathy divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Quebec.
I hope you have enjoyed this fantastic, gripping and thrilling journey into the dark heart of revenge, obsession and mental health. If you are wanting to grab a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Tracy Fenton for organising this wonderful book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Orion for not only this tour but also allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this heartwarming book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Lia Louis for creating such a heartbreaking and also uplifting and heartwarming book, about grief, healing and second chances, it’s a romance with heart and raw emotion. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Can you ever really find the one after ‘the one’?
Some people spend their whole lives trying to find the one. But Natalie found him – and married him. And then Russ died.
Two years ago, her whole world was shattered. Still now, she feels like she’s trying to piece her broken heart back together, one day at a time.
But then she finds a sheet of music – one that only Russ would know – in the piano stool in St. Pancras Station where she’s secretly been playing for the last few months.
For the first time, Natalie realises that maybe life does still hold a little magic. And with every note she plays, she feels as if she’s unlocking another fragment of her heart….
But will she ever truly find love again after she’d already found forever?
As I started to read the first page, I was hooked, mesmerised and just spell bound by the story, of a woman called Natalie who has found that rare breed, “The One”!!!. You know, that person who knows you inside and out, accepts you for who you are, sees your strengths but also sees your weaknesses and can also make you laugh and smile. But then he dies, leaving her in a turmoil of grief, that leaves her struggling to find her balance in everyday life.
Until she finds a piece of music which speaks to her and only her, and as these pieces of music keep coming (or found) she realises quite how special they are, as they all have meaning to her and her lost beloved. This story really hits you hard and doesn’t let up at all, as she reels from her grief that yes can tale however long (two years, in the grand scheme of things that’s way too short) I found her trying to appear normal (as she can be) both heartbreaking and inspiring. As she doesn’t realise that her doing something so spontaneous and reactionary leads her to finally heal (slowly) but also allow other people to come in.
I don’t want to spoil any more of this beautiful and poignant book, but it really moved me to tears and hit me quite hard emotionally (all in a good way) I found the characters believable and relatable. There is so much love and compassion within this story it’s just magnificent.
I would urge you to grab a copy for yourself right now or ASAP. I cannot highly recommend this book enough.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Lia Louis is a writer from Hertfordshire where she lives with her partner and three young children. In 2015, she won ELLE’ magazine’s annual talent competition with her contemporary love letter, #RelationshipGoals. Lia’s fascination with letters doesn’t stop with her writing: she also has a varied collection of old letters which are a source of inspiration to her. Somewhere Close To Happy is her first novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this lovely and heartwarming story and I also hope you find yourself buying this book, as it will touch you and won’t leave your mind. You can find this book in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours for organising this strange, mind-blowing book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Orenda books for allowing me to read a digital copy of this fascinating book. I would like to say thank you to the creative genius, Will Carver, for once again, creating such a gripping, tense and one that made you think about us and how we see the world around us and how the world views us. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A disillusioned nurse suddenly learns how to care.
An injured young sportsman wakes up to find he can only see in black and white.
A desperate old widower takes too many pills and believes that two angelshave arrived to usher him through purgatory.
Two agoraphobic men called Dave share the symptoms of a brain tumour, and frequently wake their neighbour with their ongoing rows.
Separate lives, running in parallel, destined to collide and then explode.
Like the suicide bomber, riding the Circle Line, say after day, waiting for the right time to detonate, waiting for the answers to his questions: Am I God? Am I Dead? Will I Blow Up This Train?
Just to warn you all, I am not quite sure I can put it into words or even formulate any coherent message… apart from GODDAMIT WILL…. You have done it again!!! Why? How? What?…. (Seriously my thought processes whilst reading this went along those lines). If you have not read any of this virtuoso’s work, seriously do though there should be a warning, he grabs you by the throat, shakes your head around until you are dazed and somewhat bruised and battered and yet… yet you come back for more.
This book is another classic, devious, twisted and yet also human, there is a lot of characters which are flawed and broken and yet you also recognise bits of them in you or know someone who has a similar trait. The other really annoying yet utterly heart wrenching part of this book is how he makes your heart bleed and hurt for a grieving old man who’s being abused by some devils, but because of pills he took and which didn’t actually take him where he wanted to be he thinks they are angels waiting to transform him from his purgatory life, but in actual fact are liars and psychopaths. For me this character is the one that squeezed my heart and didn’t let go, whereas all the other characters to me felt insubstantial, not that their badly written, good god no, it’s just the lonely old man character really got me and just blinded me to any of the others.
Honestly if you are looking for a book that will bash you around the head, wrong your heart and make you think… very hard. This is one for you and even if you are not looking for it please please grab it up when it’s out or make a pre order, because I tell you now you will be left spellbound and gobsmacked.
Ratings: 5 🌟s (what do you want me to say!!! Ok 10 🌟 s happy now 😂) with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰…. Ok fine the whole 🎂 just because you won’t be able to put it down.
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the U.K. at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books (please check them out and their website you can find his books along with many other goodies too) The Beresford came out in July 2021. His previous title Hinton Hollow Deatb Trip was longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of The Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in the Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a devious, dark and sinister tunnel filled with Machiavellian characters and thoughtful commentary on our own lives and how we view others and how others view us. If you are wanting to grab a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Verve Books for inviting me onto this tense, and intriguing book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this fantastic book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, Laurie Petrou, in creating such a brilliant and evocative cast of characters, especially the two girls, one wanting and obsessing over the others life and will do anything to achieve it even if it means destroying them and the family in the process and the other knowing that the grass isn’t always greener from the inside and yet finding this other, stronger more alluring girl fascinating. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
It’s a fine line between admiration and envy.
Diana Martin has lived her life in the shadow of her sadistic older brother. She quietly watches the family next door, enthralled by celebrity fashion designer Marianne Taylor and her feted daughter Aurelle.
She wishes she was a “Taylor girl”.
By the summer of 1995, the two girls are at university together, bonded by a mutual desire to escape their wealthy families and personal tragedies and forge new identities.
They are closer than lovers, intoxicated by their own bond, falling into the hedonistic seduction of the woods and the water at a remote university that is more summer camp than campus.
But when burgeoning artist Diana has a chance at fame, cracks start to appear in their friendship. To what lengths is Diana willing to go to secure her own stardom?
As soon as I turned the first page of this compelling and intoxicating book, I found myself hooked on a story of obsession, envy and a powerful need to be wanted and seen and also loved for who they are. These two girls, Diana and Aurelle, are both from wealthy and privileged families, but one of them has what the other desires, a family that is loving and looks supportive and also has a famous gloss that glows and beckons out. Whereas the other family has an ignored and mistreated daughter who constantly has to make sure her older brother is always in the spotlight or made happy so that they are not abused (mentally) by him.
I find their relationship with each other slightly disturbing as it’s not that equal, we have Diana who is more out going and more determined to get what she wants and we have Aurelle who’s more quieter and shy until she almost becomes invisible to everyone. I won’t go any further and spoil what is a fantastic and compelling story.
If you love an in depth look at how friendships can both be good for one another but at the same can also be used as a weapon to destroy. I find myself not liking Diana and just wish she could just leave Aurelle and her family alone. This is a marvellous book and one that I would highly recommend to anyone.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Laurie Petrou is an award winning author, and Associate Professor at the RTA School of Media at Toronto Metropolitan University. She lives in Niagara with her family. Stargazer is her fourth book.
I hope you have enjoyed this fascinating and intriguing novel about relationships and how easy it is to use someone for your own ends. If you are wanting your own copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours and also the lovely Tracy Fenton for helping out with organising this thrilling and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Headline for allowing me to read and review a copy of this brilliant book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, Allie Reynolds for once again creating a fantastic and suspenseful thriller in another dangerous sport, Surfing and this time in Australia where the danger may not be in the water but on land and most especially who you end up with. Intrigued? let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
The waves are to die for. It’s a paradise they’d kill to keep.
There’s a darkness inside all of us and The Bay has a way of bringing it out. Everyone here has their secrets but we don’t go looking for them. Because sometimes it’s better not to know.
Kenna arrives in Sydney to surprise her best friend, shocked to hear she’s going to marry a guy she’s only just met. But Mikki and her fiancé Jack are about to head away on a trip, so Kenna finds herself tagging along for the ride.
Sorrow Bay is beautiful, wild and dangerous. A remote surfing spot with waves to die for, cut off from the rest of the world. Here Kenna meets the mysterious group of people who will do anything to keep their paradise a secret. Sky, Ryan, Clemente and Victor have come to ride the waves and disappear from life. How will they feel about Kenna turning up unannounced?
As Kenna gets drawn into their world, she sees the extremes they are prepared to go to for the next thrill. And everyone seems to be hiding something. What has her best friend got involved in and how can she get her away? but one thing is rapidly becoming clear about The Bay: nobody ever leaves.
As soon as I picked up this book and read the first chapter I was entranced and gripped by the story that unravelled page by page. This doesn’t start off with a bang, but quite slowly and each page the tension mounts as we realise how many secrets each of these disparate characters are keeping from each other and how determined Kenna is to try and get her friend away from these people that have somehow captivated her. We follow these two characters mainly from Kenna’s POV (Point Of View) and how she observes her friend’s relationship with her (new) fiancé and what hold he might have over her. It soon becomes clear it’s not just Jack she has to keep an eye on but a group of people with secrets, scars that are both visible and not. As the story progresses the tension rises between all the characters and Kenna fears not only for herself but also for her friend and wonders what the hell she has got herself into.
I really found myself mesmerised and gripped by this fiendish and twisted story, and loved how we the observers get to know everyone’s (as in the characters) feelings and views of the situations that develop during the book. We find ourselves a bit more ahead of the main character and we try to anticipate when she will discover something disturbing or new about these people she has been thrust in the middle of. Obviously at first it’s just a group of extreme surfers wanting to find a bit of peace and quiet from the main touristy hot spots that are usually clogged up with amateurs and families. Sorrow Bay is their haven and Eden, which they are willing to do anything to keep it that way. And in which Kenna starts to wonder what else is lurking within this group and whether she and her friend can get out alive… I won’t go any further and spoil this brilliant thriller for you, just expect so many twists and turns that you also feel like you are cresting the wave with them.
I cannot highly recommend this book enough along with her previous book, Shiver, this will leave you gasping and just wanting to know what will happen next.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large slice of cake…. Or just a strong 🍹 😉.
Allie Reynolds is a former freestyle snowboarder who spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. Her short fiction has been published in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa. She lives by the beach in Queensland, Australia.
I hope you have enjoyed this dark, disturbing story of a sport that is both mesmeric to watch but also incredibly dangerous, especially if you take it to the extreme. It’s also how the people we think we know so much about may not be who we think they are at all and that if a place looks too good to be true, what is it actually hiding. If you love the sound of this thriller, you can find a copy in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours for organising this wonderful, gripping, heartbreaking book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Tinder Press for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, Nell Hudson, for a sharp and unapologetic look at the lifestyle of young people trying to live, laugh and party hard within a fast-paced city and how sometimes silly mistakes can lead to tragic consequences. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
The party has to end sometime.
It all starts on New Year’s Eve. A night that has to be a success, whatever the cost. For Joni and her friends, it’ll be a party that promises all the high stakes and glamour of any other, but by sunrise they’ll be dealing with something darker than the usual post-party come down.
Not that they will let this stand in their way. For this is their year to revel in all that the playground of London has to offer: sneaking into places they shouldn’t, breaking every rule, falling in love with the wrong people. All the while avoiding one undeniable truth: it’s not if the party ends, it’s how.
From the moment I turned that first page, I was hooked by this story. It’s both intoxicating and a real heartbreaker of a read. By the end of the book I was a sobbing mess because of the way the characters are portrayed and their story which is brought to life. We follow the life of Joni and her friends who’s main goal in life is to enjoy everything as much as possible. Party hard and live wild and free. They all feel quite young, and though Joni is the only one of her friends that doesn’t have a job and seems to live vicariously through them, she feels there’s no pressure as yet to do so.
Instead, through all the parties they have she becomes obsessed with the idea of being her target’s girlfriend, to the point that she doesn’t see what it does to her and how her friends see her. All she knows is that her life is better with this guy in it, his wealth and how he at first looks after her. Throughout this we follow her friends too as their parties become much more hedonistic and wilder as though they know this lifestyle cannot go on for much longer. When there is a tragedy it does make Joni and some of her friends pause but not in a way that really calls a halt to how they have gone before.
But after this incident there is a definite spiral and things become more chaotic and Joni realises (maybe too late) who her real friends are. This novel really looks at our heavy partying, out of control youth and focuses on the relationships between them all and how some are true and how some get twisted and bent out of shape. It’s also not when the party ends but how does it end? You also feel for the characters and there are so many moments that make you cry. I loved this book and would highly recommend this to anyone.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Nell Hudson grew up in a farm in Worcestershire. She graduated from the Oxford School of Drama in 2012 and has been working as a professional actor ever since. Just For Today is her first novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a glittery, wild, carefree and hedonistic party lifestyle where relationships are forged and dreams can be true for one night… but what happens after the party has ended? If you want to get your hands on this brilliant book, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Ellie Hudson and Viking team for inviting me onto this wonderful book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Viking for allowing me to read and review a copy of this fantastic book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Lizzy Dent, for creating another heartwarming, funny and charming book about believing in yourself and that love doesn’t actually have to be that complicated or dramatic it can actually just be warm and comfortable. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
She has a plan….
Fate has other ideas….
There are two men in my life. But this is not a love triangle.
Mara Williams reads her horoscope every day – but she wasn’t expecting to be in a whole other country when destiny finally found her. Just as the fortune teller reveals that her true love is about to arrive, a gorgeous stranger literally walks into her life. And now Mara is determined to bring them together again…. Surely even fate needs a nudge in the right direction sometimes?
But while Mara is getting ready for “the One”, the universe intervenes. Her new flat mate Ash is funny and kind, and sexy as hell….There was no predicting this; it’s as if her destiny just arrived on her doorstep.
So will Mara put her destiny in fate’s hands? – or finally trust herself to reach for the stars.
Wow, this book really held my heart in its hands. We follow the main character Mara, as she tries to find meaning through her horoscopes and also through what a psychic in Budapest, Hungary told her (as the psychic was pregnant all I can see is that she was telling poor Mara anything to get her to leave) which then leads onto her obsession with a complete stranger, who seems to answer the psychics predictions (well let’s make this a bit more clearer, what Mara really paid more attention to and filled in what she didn’t understand). I loved Mara as a character but you also get frustrated with her as she follows these predictions as fact rather than what we know as being just a bland words put together that could potentially happen to people or not. For Mara she strives to get that sign or message and whatever it is that happens it was meant to be or was written that day.
Obviously this story is never going to be a simple you meet someone band that’s it happy ever after… as we realise that maybe what Mara has been seeking is actually the person that’s her flatmate, walk-in Ash, who’s by far drawn to be what should be the love interest, but as we continue on reading it becomes clear that Mara is her own worst enemy, she doesn’t see what everyone else sees that her blindness in following advice from horoscopes and psychics might be just a tad unhealthy and a bit obsessive. That what she doesn’t realise is that love is a give – give transaction and that to ignore your own instinct could hurt not only you but other people.
What makes me love Mara, is that she feels she has to control every aspect of her life and her love life through these little guidances and advice from the stars, as her life has been one of chaos and she feels underachieving and that to have someone or something tell her what to do is freeing and just makes sense. When in actual fact it’s burying your head in the sand and not listening to what you want or need to do. I have never really taken any of these snipets as facts and most of the time find them hilarious and a bit silly, but wanting to make sense out chaos that’s happening to you or in the world is an understandable thing and makes me want to give her a hug and say it’s ok to make mistakes in both love and life, you will learn, but maybe just really listen to yourself first before turning to the stars.
I really loved Ash, as a man to have that kindness and understanding, wow what a treasure. To also have that amount of patience when dealing with all of Mara’s silliness and naivety in what she does and tries to do for her plan to date this guy who she’s never really spoken to or known is one that leaves you groaning and slapping your head saying “Mara!!! They guy you need is right there in front of you!!!!”. This book is one that you need to just sit in the sun and just dream away with.
I would highly recommend this one to anyone who loves a bit of rom-com with a dash of horoscopes and magic.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 ( or a large 🍹 with 🍨 if it’s a sunny day 😉)
Lizzy Dent (mis)spent her early twenties working in a hotel not unlike the one in her first novel The Summer Job. Soon to be a TV series! She somehow ended up in a glamorous job travelling the world creating content for various TV companies such as MTV, Channel 4, Cartoon Network, The BBC and ITV. She writes about women who don’t always know where they are going in life, but who always have fun doing it. The Setup is her second novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this charming, lovely and wonderful book and dare I say it what a second book!!! I mean I loved The Summer Job but this is just what is needed after that first hit, another one to give you a gentle hug, laugh and an ahhhh moment. Seriously this author is one I will be buying as soon as the next one is announced. If you are wanting a copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Danielle for organising and inviting me onto this thrilling and brilliant book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Hera Books for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, A A Chaudhuri, for creating another gripping, and twisted and dark novel about friendships, abuses and how everyone holds secrets that (in this books world) touches everyone and that revenge can get a bit out of hand. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
She has your back.
And May stab you in it.
Wealthy pampered Susan, is living the perfect life in leafy Kingston. She’ll never let anyone see the darkness she’s concealing behind the diamonds and rosé.
Grace is new to the group, seemingly the perfect wife and mum. Yet no one knows the truth of what’s happening behind closed doors.
Loner Natalie, hides the pain of her childhood behind a carefully ordered life. But how long can the past stay hidden?
Three unlikely friends, brought together for a weekly class run by beautiful, friendly, instructor Jade.
But when Jade goes missing in mysterious circumstances, the group starts to unravel. And as their darkest secrets come to light, it seems that no one can be trusted. Even their closest friends….
As soon as I picked my kindle up and started reading this novel, I was hooked. The story grips you straight away and never lets you go. As you go through the story you are lead down many paths that twist and turn as you approach until you are not sure what the outcome will be. This is a fantastic thriller and one that leaves you just gasping at every new puzzle which slots into place.
The characters are again, exquisitely and brilliantly complicated, with all their flaws and foibles showing like scars on the surface. Most of the characters I just couldn’t like or just felt I wanted to slap (the only one I felt a much deeper and empathetic feeling for was Natalie). Some of the twists I have to admit here and now, were a bit unbelievable and some of the way the plots are involved felt too coincidental to be believed, I know it’s fiction but I just can’t believe that they are all apparently living together and seeing each other without realising (but that’s my opinion and please don’t let that stop you reading this fantastic book).
I definitely enjoyed this book, but I am not sure I liked this better than She’s Mine, the authors previous book. I felt I had more sympathy for a lot more characters and there was more complexity in how the plot developed and connected. I think if you love a good, dark and disturbing and twisted thriller this should definitely be in your hands right now!!!.
Ratings: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
A A Chaudhuri is a former City Lawyer. After gaining a degree in History at University College London, she later trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing. She lives in Surrey with her family, and loves films, all things Italian, and a good margarita!.
I hope you have enjoyed delving into the darkness of friendships and whether you should put your trust in people who you think have your back…. Or they might be the ones to stab you!. If you are wanting to get your hands on a copy you can find it in Waterstones and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Steven Cooper for inviting me on to this fantastic and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to read and review a finished copy of this brilliant book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Shelley Burr, for creating such a visceral, tense and gripping crime novel, about girls who go missing, and how families break apart and also struggle to come to terms with their loved ones gone or just absent. There’s also a real hard life of towns that have seen better days, with communities becoming more and more fragmented and distant, this is all set in the out back of Australia which gives an almost noir like feel. Intrigued? let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Everybody thinks they know Mina McCreery.
Everyone has a theory on what happened to her sister.
Now it‘s time to find out the truth……
Mina McCreey’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm.
When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer. Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.
I was gripped right from the start, and could not put this wonderful and thrilling book down. the characters are all complex and flawed each with their own secrets and pain which manifests into their own lives. With Lane seeking to find answers that will eventually lead him to seek revenge on the one person he feels is responsible to all the cases he is trying to solve. We also have Mina, who’s sister disappeared and which left their family shattered and broken. And which has left her feeling anxious and isolated within a community that should be wanting to help her but with which she can never let her pride down to allow. There are also other characters which appear and have their own scars to share, and through all these stories of loss and no knowing what has happened is a trail that could lead to answers but also could lead to imprisonment or death.
We see how her implacable distrust in Lane becomes softened to the point that her inner self who wants to know the answers and a hope that she can then move on and live her life, becomes amenable to helping find answers to what happened to her sister, as long as he does something for her in return. I won’t go into much more detail than that but wow, this book is such a gripping read you will definitely want to keep on reading this till you turn the last page. There are so many moments of twists and turns and red herrings, that will leave you spinning. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I want more.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Shelley Burr is the winner of the CWA Debut Dagger award with Wake, an alumni of the ACT Writer’s Centre HardCopy program (2018) and a Varuna fellow. When not writing she works at the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment. She lives in Canberra, but grew up splitting her time between Newcastle and Glenrowan, where her father’s family are all sheep farmers. WAKE is Shelley’s first novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this dark, sinister and gripping outback noir novel, where the heroes and heroines are not as clean or straight as you would think and that everyone hides a secret, it’s whether you are brave enough to find out the truth or let it lie. If you want to grab hold of a copy for yourself, you can find a copy at Waterstones, any independent store or of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!