Monday, 30 July 2018

#CoverReveal Too Far by Jason Starr

I am extremely excited to share the Cover Reveal for Too Far by Jason Starr.
Published by No Exit Press, 22nd November 2018!
Pre-order Too Far by Jason Starr here


About the book
One night. One date. What have you got to lose?

Jack Harper isn't a bad man, but he's stuck in a loveless marriage with a mediocre job just trying to keep sober. The only good thing in his life is his son. When an old college friend introduces him to a new extramarital dating website, he tentatively reaches out to find a distraction from his misery. But when he goes to meet up with his steamy online date, he quickly realises it was a dire choice.
Soon, Jack finds himself desperately trying to prove his innocence for crimes he did not commit, and the life he once had - unhappy as it was - is nothing but a dream. Now, he's living his worst nightmare. . .

As gripping as TM Logan's Lies and as compulsive as Gillian McAllister's Anything You Do Say, this intense psychological thriller is packed with shocking twists and turns and plays with a basic anxiety we all harbour: What if one reckless decision could ruin your life forever?

What people are saying so far...
'The ultimate page turner' - Michael Connelly

'A rocket-paced, propulsive, and utterly addictive thrill-ride. Jason Starr is a master of ratcheting up the suspense page-by-page, making it totally impossible to look away' - Lisa Unger

'Jason Starr is a brilliant storyteller...I loved Too Far, pure and simple, and I'd recommend it to anyone' - Scott Pratt, bestselling author of the Joe Dillard series and the Darren Street series.

Sounds like your kind of read...

Pre-order Too Far by Jason Starr here

Follow @JasonStarrBooks @noexitpress on Twitter

#PublicationDayPush The Haunting of Hattie Hastings - Part Three by Audrey Davis


Happy Publication Day! The Haunting of Hattie Hastings - Part Three by Audrey Davis. The conclusion to this trilogy is finally available!

About the Author
Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, fewer farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: 'There's been a murrrrder!'

After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancĂ©. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for 'artistic' use of naked men's bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn't bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it's packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the 'wrong' side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we'll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.

It wasn't until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in July. After which she might have a wee lie down …

Follow @audbyname on Twitter


About the book
Nothing lasts forever … Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end. His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast. But he still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message.

Best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?

Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but where there’s life, there’s hope …
Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?

Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final instalment of a trilogy that has been hailed ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.

Review
The is the final part of The Haunting of Hattie Hastings trilogy. In the first part Hattie suffers the tragic loss of her husband Gary only for him to return as a ghost. His ghostly apparition becomes a permanent fixture in her life, and that of her friends. It soon becomes apparent that there is something he has to resolve before he can move on.

In the second part Gary finds he isn't the only one stuck in-between the world of the living and that of ghosts. He also discovers why he can't move on. It is of utmost importance that he help his little friend Marty contact his parents and help Hattie to deal with his death.

In the conclusion to the trilogy Gary uses Hattie to pass on his messages, which is even more important now Gary has started to fade away. His time is limited, and he is desperate to make sure Hattie finds someone who cares about her the way he does.

This is a romantic comedy with a hint of ghost and a large helping of love and kindness. Davis presents the topic of grief in a playful and funny way. The tender and close relationship between Hattie and Gary only becomes apparent after the death of Gary, which I suppose is the whole point the author is trying to get across. How we don't value what we have until we no longer have it.

It is also about hope and not giving up when your life is struck by the greatest tragedy imaginable. It's an amusing and pleasant read, perfect for readers looking for an uncomplicated read.

Buy The Haunting of Hattie Hastings - Part Three or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy The Haunting of Hattie Hastings - Part Two
Buy The Haunting of Hattie Hastings - Part One

Sunday, 29 July 2018

#NewExplosiveEnding of Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris


What a deliciously wicked idea - to write an alternative ending to a fantastic psychological thriller and have readers compare both of the reads. Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris is a cracking read and . Be prepared to doubt everything you read and be suspicious of every character. You just never know who might be lying.

Read my review of the New Ending, the First Ending and find out which one is my favourite of the two!
About the Author
B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.

Follow @BAParisAuthor @HQStories #ForgetSleep
Buy Bring Me Back (featuring an explosive new ending!)


About the book
A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she's not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he's engaged to be married; he's happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She's turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his fiance is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?


Review of Bring Me Back: New Eplosive Ending
Everything in my first review still applies, especially when it comes to the specific type of twisted magic Paris brings to the pages. In this new ending the author takes the twist, turns it one more time and places the remains in front of the reader like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

In an extraordinary marketing idea and ploy, this bestseller has been given a reboot and the option for readers to view the story from a different angle altogether. What if the guilty party is innocent? What if everything we know about Layla and Ellen is only what we are meant to see, read and believe?

The only problem with creating two endings for the same story, if you have read the first version, is whether you have the ability to leave the details of the first read behind you to be able to read the second version with fresh eyes. In my case not really an issue, because it's been a while and I read a new book every day.

For me the first ending gives us the visceral reaction of both the author to her own plot and of the readers to that plot. It's not meant to be fair or give us a happy ending. It's a psychological game of cat and mouse. It's supposed to leave us shocked, and perhaps even in awe of the audacity of the author.

The second ending is a double twist, and is a bit like making the grey cells do triple the work. This is the solution, but hey wait a minute while I, or rather the author, change the rules of the game. Although Finn is still the one who cops the most grief and suspicion, this ending allows for a better outcome for him. That isn't the case for Ellen though. Be prepared to be shocked and for everything you think you know about Bring Me Back to be thrown up into the air.


Review of BringMe Back: first Ending
As per usual you just never know what you're going to get when you read a B.A. Paris. Well, that isn't exactly true, you do know you're probably going to get a boatload of crazy.

Paris doesn't just cross boundaries, she creates them. Watch her drawing those lines in the sand, the lines others are going to struggle to replicate or mirror, as she runs rings around her readers with this intricate plot. It's a think outside of the box kind of read.

As a reader you think you have the plot sussed and then the author just whacks you up the side of the head with a completely different solution and scenario.

In this case the #ForgetSleep tag couldn't be more accurate because your Sherlockian skills and grey cells will be asked to work overtime on Bring Me Back. Is Finn a killer? Did he forget the crime? Is she dead? Or is someone screwing with his already slightly unstable mind?

Finn has spent a lot of time recovering from the dark cloud of suspicion he has hanging over his head. The majority of people think he killed Layla, and it doesn't help that the new love of his life is the sister of his missing girlfriend. It's weird right?

Over a decade later the traumatic disappearance is brought back to the surface when a very specific item turns up, something that was really important to Layla and only a handful of people know about. It makes Finn doubt everything, even his relationship with Ellen. It's as if an invisible person is slowly chipping away at the fake exterior and trying to expose the real Finn. The Finn with anger issues, the Finn who is controlling, and the Finn who lied to the police. Yeh, that Finn.

What happened to Layla is the question of the hour, and what kind of secrets Finn keeps hidden in the dark recesses of his mind. Paris plays with the tension like a predator with its prey. Meanwhile the prey is confused as to what its role is, hence the switch from potential killer to violent abuser to whimpering victim. It's a bold, riveting read with a surprising conclusion.


Which Ending I Prefer!
For me it has to be the original ending, because it is darker, more wicked and the plot is brutally honest. There are no expectations of pity or understanding. It is just the compelling end to a devious plan.

The new ending is far too nice. It makes allowances for the feelings of the character, who is put in the worst position in this story. I wonder if the fact many readers were upset by the fate of Finn played into this new storyline at all. I did like the double twist, but then I do enjoy it when an author goes beyond just the first turn of the knife,

What drew me to this story in the beginning was the similarity to one of the most tension filled movies I have ever seen. A girl who disappears at a motorway petrol station, and her boyfriend who in his obsession to find her encounters more than he expected.

That initial spark of doubt, which Paris draws on throughout the book is what made and makes Bring Me Back an excellent psychological thriller. No matter which version you pick you are in for a hell of a read!

Buy Bring Me Back at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Read The Breakdown and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

#BlogTour This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell


Today it's the last day of the fantastic BlogTour for This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell. This book is a chocolate button in a world full of carrot slices, a little bit of sugar in a bitter tasting environment. It reminds us of the fact we control our own destinies and that we should all make the time for small acts of kindness.


About the Author
Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want, To The Moon and Back, You and Me, Always and Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay. Take a Chance On Me won the RNA's Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.

Jill's personal favourite amongst her novels is Three Amazing Things About You, which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the NHS, after she read a magazine article that inspired her to join a local creative writing class. Her first book was published in 1991 and she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the few who still write their books by hand, like a leftover from the dark ages. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Follow @JillMansell @headlinepg on Twitter


About the book
On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...
On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn't have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas...
And she wouldn't have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn't fall in love with...

Review
Have you ever watched hyperlink cinema, a film with multiple interrelated storylines? This Could Change Everything is exactly like that, a book where characters occupy independent stories, but are connected via common links or a character. The author weaves these stories, as if she is creating a perfect basket of emotional turmoil, kindness and love.

The star of this memorable set of characters is most definitely Zillah, and one of the most important themes of this book starts with her. It's the concept of paying it forward. Doing a good deed and not expecting anything in return for it, but instead expecting the benefactor of the deed to do something kind for someone else in return and so on.

Her need to help others is probably driven by a feeling of guilt she has about her own sometimes selfish choices in life. All of that seems unimportant in comparison to all the people she is helping in the here and now. Including a young woman called Essie, who doesn't recognise the abusive traits in her boyfriend, a young thief who needs a push in the right direction or a young man who can't see the forest for all the trees.

It's a read I know I will be recommending, especially to readers who seek a little respite from the stark reality of life, and who need to believe in love and the nicer side of humanity. Mansell knows how to present the messier side of relationships, which includes the mistakes and the wrong paths we take, but ultimately brings the threads together to create a smorgasbord of hope.

This book is a chocolate button in a world full of carrot slices, a little bit of sugar in a bitter tasting environment. It reminds us of the fact we control our own destinies and that we should all make the time for small acts of kindness.

Buy This Could Change Everything at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Headline

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister

McAllister likes to present her readers with moral conundrums. Sometimes it isn't black or white, and the grey areas can be difficult to navigate.

This time she presents her readers with the worst nightmare for any parent or caregiver, the death of a child. In this case the death of a very young baby at the hands of the mothers sister.

The author doesn't imply that Martha carries any guilt because she is a working woman and wasn't looking after Layla herself, but rather because her choice of nanny was perhaps a little laissez faire. I am glad that distinction was made. Working mothers and stay-at-home mothers give themselves and each other enough grief about that, despite the fact they should all be united and stand together as one group.

Martha does feel guilty and inadequate for wanting to spend time away from the stress of a screaming baby, and for needing a moment to herself. Handing off the burden to someone else makes her equally guilty in her own mind.

I figured out the truth fairly early into the read. Although the story is driven towards that moment I actually think the scrutiny paid to both sisters, and their relationship both before and after, is what makes this read so compelling.

Think about it. It's one thing when a stranger hurts or neglects your child, it's a whole other ballgame when someone you love and care for causes your child harm. Your sister, your blood. How could she take your child from you? Is there any punishment that can give you any peace or satisfaction as a mother?

I really enjoy the moral dilemmas McAllister comes up with. It makes for a fascinating read, as do her other books. If you haven't read any of her previous books yet, then I highly recommend you do. Her plots always make for great discussions and moral debates, and this book is no exception.

Buy No Further Questions at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Paperback edition
Publisher: @MichaelJBooks
Follow @GillianMAuthor Visit gillianmcallister.com

Read Anything You Do Say and Everything But the Truth by Gillian McAllister

#BlogTour The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall


Today it's my pleasure to help kick off the BlogTour for The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall, which is the third in the Cornish Tales series. It's a story about an unusual love growing from an unexpected and violent encounter.


About the Author
Victoria Cornwall can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century and it is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels.

Victoria’s writing has been shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction and her debut novel reached the final for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award.

Victoria likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Follow @VickieCornwall  @ChocLitUK on Twitter
On Facebook On Pinterest Or Instagram
Visit victoriacornwall.com or victoriacornwall.com/news-blog-2/
Buy The Daughter of River Valley


About the book
Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …

Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she has been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him.

Brought together by unknown circumstances, and fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?


Review
Beth lives in the cottage that once belonged to her grandfather. She is in a vulnerable position as a single woman in a cottage in the middle of nowhere. Nobody to hear her screams if someone decides to harm her or try to take advantage of her. It isn't much of a surprise that she feels she needs to defend her house and honour with any means possible, which is how an unconscious man ends up on the floor of her cottage.

Unfortunately the extremely well placed bash on the head has caused some damage to the intruder. He no longer remembers who he is, why he is there and where the heck he came from. The man without a name soon feels as if he needs to protect Beth, especially from the thugs who are trying to drive her from the only real home she has ever known.

This book is part of a series called Cornish Tales by Victoria Cornwall.The author combines the beauty of the scenery with tales of survival, despair and romance. You can feel the influence of Poldark and the unforgettable imagery of Cornwall, which flows into this tale of independence and the solitary struggle of a single woman in that era.

A tale that speaks of the divide between the rich and the poor, and the protection each of those groups gives to members of their own group or social class. However both groups still adhere to archaic societal rules, regardless of how hypocritical they may seem.

This is to romance what the romcom is to chic-lit. It's an easy read, and the author tells the story without resorting to erotic encounters or gratuitous violence. This kind of read has a firm place in the romance genre, because it caters to readers who enjoy the spark without wanting the forbidden fruit of the breathless bodice-ripper.

Buy The Daughter of River Valley at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Choc Lit


Monday, 23 July 2018

#BlogBlitz Happy Publication Day! Forgive Me Not by Samantha Tonge


Happy Publication Day to Forgive Me Not by Samantha Tonge. It's a story about addiction and the fight towards recovery. It's brutally honest at times and doesn't pretend the world is a romcom or an episode of  Friends.


About the Author
Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Follow @SamTongeWriter or @canelo_co on Twitter
Or on Facebook
Visit samanthatonge.co.uk
Buy Forgive Me Not


About the book
Forgiveness can be hard to come by… An unputdownable new novel from bestseller Samantha Tonge
How far would you go to make amends?
When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.
But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.
Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future...
Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.
Perfect for readers of Ruth Hogan or Amanda Prowse, this is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about running away from yourself – and finding a way back.


Review
How far would you go to make amends? It's a good question, but for me the more important question is whether every act should be forgiven, just so the guilty party can feel better about themselves?

Emma is an alcoholic. Her drinking has cost her friendships, jobs, her family and her reputation. She rationalises every bad decision she makes and likes to blame everyone but the person feeding the habit. A common story, and it's fair to say this story doesn't focus on the victims as much as on the the addict and her attempt to make amends.

Emma makes her way home and attempts to fix her broken friendships and family ties. They have no real concept of the way she has spent the last few years and are reluctant to give her another chance. She also brings her second life home with her, which causes a lot of friction in the community.

Tonge reproduces the uncomfortable reactions of the general population really well in relation to the homeless. Questions of guilt, powerlessness, doubt and fear are mixed with general misconceptions about these people, who are caught in a cycle of addiction, lack of support and strict bureaucracy.

Kudos to Tonge for shedding a light on the way society treats the homeless and the difficulties they have on the street, especially whilst trying to get back into the flow of a 'normal' life. It's important to add that not all homeless people have substance abuse problems, it is however true that the majority do. It's another story and statistic whether the substance abuse came before or after becoming homeless.

Addiction is a cruel foe, it doesn't care about emotions or relationships, it is greedy and just wants to be fed. The author shows the destruction of addiction and how much damage the loss of trust can cause in relationships and in a family dynamic.

Emma is selfish, self-absorbed and sees everything through her own frame of reference, which is tainted by her need to numb and forget all of her presumed grievances. Even when she seems to understand the damage she has caused she always brings it back to how she feels, as opposed to how everyone else might be feeling.

It's an uncomfortable read at times, because it walks the thin boundaries between reality and fiction really well. The author doesn't present a sympathetic main character, instead she gives the readers the stark realism of the addict and their thought process.

I think it is a read that will make readers sway one way or the other. At the very least it gives an intimate insight into the complexity of a downwards spiral and the never-ending road to recovery. A road which can sometimes be smooth, but also forces the addict to deal with the occasional sinkhole and crossroads. It's an honest and heartfelt read.

Buy Forgive Me Not at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy at Kobo Google or itunes
Publisher: Canelo


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

#BlogTour Doctor Perry by Kirsten McKenzie


Today it is my turn on the BlogTour for Doctor Perry by Kirsten McKenzie. It's an interesting combination of horror meets speculative fiction with an important reminder of the people we tend to forget in our society.

About the Author
For many years Kirsten McKenzie worked in her family's antique store, where she went from being allowed to sell the 50c postcards as a child, to selling $5,000 Worcester vases and seventeenth century silverware, providing a unique insight into the world of antiques which touches every aspect of her writing.

Her historical fiction novels 'Fifteen Postcards' and it's sequel 'The Last Letter' have been described as 'Time Travellers Wife meets Far Pavilions', and 'Antiques Roadshow gone viral'. The third book in the series 'Telegram Home' will be released in November 2018 by Accent Press.
Her bestselling gothic horror novel 'Painted' was released in 2017, with her medical thriller 'Doctor Perry' following closely in April 2018.

She lives in New Zealand with her husband, her daughters, an SPCA rescue cat and a kitten found in the neighbour's shed, and can usually be found procrastinating on Twitter under the handle @kiwimrsmac.

Follow KirstenMcKenzieAuthor on Facebook
Follow @kiwimrsmac on Twitter, Instagram or BookBub
Visit kirstenmckenzie.com


About the book
Under the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor swears to remember that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

Doctor Perry assures his elderly patients at the Rose Haven Retirement Home that he can offer warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Doctor Perry is a liar. Hiding from a traumatic past, Elijah Cone wants nothing to do with the other residents at the Rose Haven, content to sit at his window waiting to die. He’s about to learn that under Doctor Perry death is the easy option...


Review
Although this is a fictional horror scenario it also echoes the reality of the way western society treats their elderly. When someone gets to the stage of needing full time care, is put into the hands of a care home, and is subsequently forgotten or reduced to an afterthought - is this is what we call looking after them? Of course the truth is an eye-opener. Individuals who have had filled lives and careers fade into obscurity behind the locked doors of institutional care.

There are no doubt a high amount of elderly who are incapable of safeguarding themselves because of medical conditions, but there are also plenty who are fully compos mentis and aware of the limitations of their new surroundings. This story speaks to the powerlessness, loneliness, neglect and abuse these men and women often have to endure, especially in homes where the main priority is the money the home makes.

So let's talk about Doctor Perry, the friendly doctor everyone trusts and loves. The man with the magic medicine and the ability to charm the snake right out of its basket. Nobody even gives a second thought to the fact people seem to be disappearing while they are in his care, perhaps because they don't even notice when they are gone.

What is in his magic medicine and what is he doing with the patients he picks? The only thing they have in common is the fact they have no family or friends to miss them when they are gone. The truth is unimaginable and like something straight out of the Twilight Zone.

The author manages to combine the harsh realities of care homes and the elderly with her fictional storyline, so kudos to her for making an important point in the midst of her creepy storyline. I'd say it's creepy in a good way, but it's more of a creepy in a 'my doctor is probably prescribing his own version of snake oil' way. Not at all conducive to a trusting relationship between patient and doctor.

As you read the story you can almost hear the background music warning you not to turn around or open the door. It will probably make you side-eye your ever so concerned doctor the next time you have a medical concern.

It's an interesting combination of horror meets speculative fiction with an important reminder of the people we tend to forget in our society.

Buy Doctor Perry at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy Doctor Perry at Amazon com


Monday, 16 July 2018

#BlogTour An Oriental Murder by Jane Bastin


Today it's my turn to host the BlogTour for An Oriental Murder by Jane Bastin. It is a story that mixes a 1920s feeling of nostalgia with modern day crime.


About the Author
Jane is a storyteller, writer, traveller and educator. Having lived and worked for over thirty years in Turkey, Jane has amassed a breadth of experiences that have led to the writing of the Sinan Kaya series of novels. Of course all characters and events are fictitious!

Fluent in both English and Turkish, Jane writes in both languages and has had a range of articles published in Turkish periodicals and magazines alongside British newspapers.
Jane now divides her time between rainy Devon and sunny Turkey,

Follow @JaneJanebastin  @crookedcatbooks on Twitter
Buy An Oriental Murder


About the book
The Pera Palas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey plays host to the Agatha Christie Writers’ Congress when real life imitates fiction. The bodies of the Prime Minister and his occasional mistress are found dead in one of the hotel’s locked rooms surrounded by bodyguards. Seemingly, no one could get in or out, and yet…

Inspector Sinan Kaya is convinced that foreign agents are culpable, and that the murders are linked to the recent spate of killings of Turkish government officials.
Within this complicated, crime riddled city, Sinan Kaya’s moral compass never falters. Not concerned with threats of dismissal from the force, he cuts his own path through the investigation, determined to uncover the truth.

An Oriental Murder is a tale of espionage and murder set against the backdrop of beautiful Istanbul, the ancient city where east and west meet.


Review
Aside from the fact quite a few people get killed in this book, this is a great idea for a murder mystery holiday. Just Saying.

Bastin gives the reader the image and feeling of what Istanbul used to be like in the era of Agatha Christie. The old city imagery combined with the ever encroaching oppressive laws and thinking of the new regime.

With that in mind it is easy to understand the conflict Sinan faces, both morally and professionally. He has to make a choice. He can either adhere to the rules and become part of the corruption or he can try and sidetrack them, whilst doing the right thing.

This story of political corruption is skewed by a locked room mystery and the connection of some of the victims to a seedier side of sexual activity. Sinan has to determine just what exactly is really at the root of all the red herrings and distractions in his investigation.

Bea and her mother are the flies in the soup in this scenario, as far as I am concerned. They're brash, loud and would probably fit quite nicely into one of Christie's character stereotypes. The complete opposite of Sinan, which is why his connection with Bea is kind of like nails on a chalk board.

Given more direction and elimination of superfluous details, this has the potential to be charming little book and/or series. The character of Sinan has a certain element of charm to it, which mixed with the old mystique of Istanbul, and the aura of a grande dame of mystery, crime and murder herself, draws the reader in. It's something just below the surface, almost indiscernible, but it's there and I hope Bastin can draw upon it for future novels.

Buy An Oriental Murder at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books


Sunday, 15 July 2018

#BlogTour Unfinished Business by S.C. Cunningham


Today it is my turn on the BlogTour Unfinished Business by S.C. Cunningham. It's a mixture of erotic fiction and suspense, with a sexual predator as the main character. Don't forget to enter the Giveaway at the bottom of this post to win a signed copy of Unfinished Business!


About the Author
British Author S C Cunningham (The Penance List, Unfinished Business and The Deal) creates psychological and paranormal thrillers with a skilled mix of fueled tension, dark humor, and pulsating sex scenes. Her works offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.
Cunningham writes what she knows. Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Deal, the first in the Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker, thus sowing the seed for her thrillers The Penance List and Unfinished Business part of The David Trilogy. She is currently working on Book III For My Sins.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of rock music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the Police – Wanted & Absconder Unit, Intelligence Analyst, Major Crime Team, Investigations Hub.
Having worked in the music to film industry, she writes with film in mind. The Penance List has been adapted to film screenplay.

Follow @sccunningham8 on Twitter
Connect with her on Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Google+
Amazon US Author page Amazon Uk Author page
Visit sccunningham.com
Buy Unfinished Business


About the book
He loved being him… he got away with murder.
She loved being her… until she met him.

The steamy roller coaster ride of psychotic David’s obsession with his childhood sweetheart, a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes.

With the help of her gutsy friends, fun-loving city girl Tara Warr is the only victim to survive David Howard’s death list. Whilst lounging in prison the hypnotic sexual tour de force enlists an eager recruit, seduces a prison warden and relocates to the sunnier climes of Mexico, a freedom short-lived when his charred remains are found in the fire of a plastic surgeon’s clinic. The police cease their search, finally Tara and her friends can relax, David is dead.

Laughter soon turns to fear when he communicates via Tara’s laptop that he is very much alive, knows their every move and is ready to finish what he started. He is among them, but who? He has a brand new face.
Tara has had enough, time to turn the tables and make him suffer.  A woman unafraid of death is a dangerous thing. Has David finally met his match?

Review
Unfinished Business is the second part of The David Trilogy, a story about obsession, revenge and inner pain. It features domestic abuse, child abuse and the dysfunctional relationships of childhood friends.

For anyone who hasn't read the first part of the series, the book has a short recap at the beginning to get the reader up to speed with the story.

The author plays an interesting blame game when it comes to victim and perpetrator. Instead of lack of consent there is the question of whether the victim enjoys the sadism, thereby inviting it to happen in the first place. This is evident in David's interactions as he is molested and then is forced to molest, but enjoys making someone his victim. When it comes to Tara the story also moves away from the rape to redefining it as consensual because she enjoyed it and feels attracted to her kidnapper.

Obviously this is a bold storyline, and perhaps one that plays into victim blaming too much. A victim isn't culpable. It's uncomfortable and perhaps has a lot to do with either the way the author thinks it actually is, it could be or is often perceived to be by the society.

Another storyline was how uncomfortable Tara feels about the relationship between Helen and Josie, but clearly states that she isn't bothered by her male gay friends. Perhaps a way of pointing out the hypocrisy and antagonism gay couples experience when it comes to same gender people.

Personally I wouldn't put this in the genre of psychological thriller or suspense. You know from the get go who the villain or bad boy is, the trilogy is named after said psycho and there isn't much suspense because David more or less tells you what he is going to do. This is erotica with a slant towards the darker side of sexual interactions.

There are graphic scenes and dialogues, so if that is something you steer away from as a reader, fair warning. If you like a more brusque and uncouth approach to sex, then this will be right up your alley. It is blunt and probably bears more resemblance to real life encounters, especially in regards to cybersex and sexting. Don't expect any unicorn magic or candy floss moments.

I think the author brings a lot of the harsh realities of human behaviour and their thought processes together, and connects all if it with a fascination for base instinctual coupling and interactions. David's magic member plays a leading role in the series.

Buy Unfinished Business at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy The Penance List (The David Trilogy book 1)


Giveaway - Win a signed copy of Unfinished Business (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.*

Saturday, 14 July 2018

#BlogTour Time School by Nikki Young


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Time School by Nikki Young. It's a pleasant introduction into the history of WW 1 and the concept of time travel. It's a short read suitable for all age groups.

About the Author
Nikki Young is a writer and lover of stories and ‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants’ is her first book. Nikki credits her lively imagination to an amazing childhood, growing up in Yorkshire and living in a cul-de-sac in the days when children were allowed to run free and left to make their own fun! Now a mum of three, she says that in her head, she hasn’t really grown up and those memories of her childhood days remain strong and active.

Follow @nikki_cyoung @matadorbooks
Visit nikkiyoung.co.uk
Buy Time School


About the book
A power cut and a series of mini disasters means friends, Jess, Nadia, Tomma and Ash barely make it to the station to catch their train to school. What they find is a far cry from the usual packed commuter train they're expecting...

When they arrive at Hickley School, the children are surprised to find some of the buildings missing and they don't recognise any of the other pupils, who are all dressed in a different style of uniform. The only person who takes the time to help them is Martha, despite being preoccupied by her own worries about her family being hungry and not hearing from brother, Henry whom she says is away fighting. The children soon realise this is no normal day and it's not until they return home that they're able to figure out what happened. What they don't know is whether it was a one-off day, or if they will get to see Martha and the other pupils again. Jess hopes so. She has something she needs to tell Martha. Not knowing how or why, she feels a connection and an obligation to this girl she can't explain.

Review
Imagine getting on a train you get on every morning only to be whisked away through a gap in time to the past. To a time of great upheaval, struggle and sorrow, with the only option to return being the same train. Just you and a few of your friends thrust into one of the most traumatic periods in the 20th century. How, why and for what purpose?

I think it is a gentle and non-abrasive way of introducing young readers to the World Wars, specifically the Great War. Having bought and read similar books with a historical context for children, and for my own children, it is fair to say that young readers of our era are capable of dealing with a lot more reality and facts. The premise offered up a lot of potential and Young shouldn't be cautious when plotting and delving into that potential. Children and younger readers are capable of embracing and enjoying more complex and realistic storylines.

This premise also allows for further ventures into the past, regardless of whether the fictional story collides with an important historical event or not. Books like these can be great teaching tools, because readers learn historical facts in a fictional setting.

What I really liked about it was the fact I could read this to a child of any age or give it to them to read, without having any concerns they might be overwhelmed by the subject matter. At the very least readers will come away with a basic understanding of how the war had impact on everyone regardless of age or status. Rationing, clothing, war orphans and refugees, and having to deal with the death of a loved one.

More advanced readers could discuss the butterfly effect of the time travel. Did the event the children were there to change or stop only occur because they were there in the first place?

Given a little more depth I can see this becoming an interesting series (hint, hint) and a scholastic possibility. I would like to see Young spread her wings a little more and allow for the creative ideas to flourish instead of curbing them. Saying that, I would buy this book for a reluctant reader or as an introduction to the topics of history, war and time travel.

Buy Time School at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Troubador Publishing ( pub date: 28 Jun. 2018)


#BlogTour The Happiness List by Annie Lyons


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for The Happiness List by Annie Lyons. I have reviewed quite a few of her books and can honestly say she never disappoints. Lyons always delivers an emotional, solid and yet at times amusing read.


About the Author
 Having worked in the worlds of book selling and publishing, Annie Lyons decided to have a go at book writing. Following a creative writing course, lots of reading and an extraordinary amount of coffee, she produced Not Quite Perfect, which went on to become a number one bestseller. Her second book The Secrets Between Sisters was nominated in the best eBook category at the 2014 Festival of Romance and Life or Something Like It was a top ten bestseller.

Her book, The Choir on Hope Street, is a story of power ballads, community, cake and hope. She tries to write stories which make people laugh and cry, although hopefully not at the same time. Annie lives in a shambolic money-pit of a house with her husband and two children plus a cat, who she pretends not to like. She enjoys channelling her inner Adele as part of her own beloved community choir and trying to grow cauliflower. Her latest book, The Happiness List, was published on the 11th of July 2018.

Follow @1AnnieLyons or @HQDigital @HQStories
Visit annielyons.com or connect with Annie on Facebook
Buy The Happiness List


About the book
Life is about to change forever…

Heather is finally back on Hope Street after running from the memories for so long. She hasn’t bumped into many neighbours yet but with her upcoming wedding to plan there’s plenty to keep her busy!

Fran is still trying to get used to a life without her husband by her side. It’s hard enough raising two children on her own – she doesn’t have time to even think about dating…

Pamela is fed up with being taken for granted by her grown-up children and grumbling husband. She’s ready to shake things up a little, but will her family even notice?

So when the three women hear about a ‘happiness course’ starting on Hope Street, surely it’s the perfect opportunity to let their hair down, laugh with new friends and maybe even change their lives in ways they never expected…

Review
Heather, Fran and Pamela couldn't be more different, and they don't imagine themselves growing closer to each other, whilst on a happiness course of all things. Although the course is supposed to help them focus on the positive and help them to manage and set themselves achievable goals, they start supporting each other instead.

Each of the women have their own burdens to bear. Fran is still trying to deal with the loss of her husband, Pamela is caught between her son and her husband, and Heather is planning a wedding. Heather is still coping with her own losses, which make her insecure, vulnerable and perhaps a little naive about the people closest to her.

Mindfulness is very en vogue at the moment. It's all about focusing one's awareness on the present, as opposed to dwelling on the past or being anxious about the future. Accepting one's own thoughts, feelings and physical sensations and acknowledging them calmly. In this case Heather, Fran and Pamela are asked to create lists of things or goals, which make them or will make them happy.

It's interesting to note how each list changes and evolves as the women grow and learn to focus on themselves and their happiness. How some seemingly important goals become less so to the women, as they learn to let things go and to assert themselves and their needs.

Lyons always delivers an emotional, solid and yet at times amusing read. Although it's infused with a subtle layer of humour, this story is about empowerment and taking control of your emotions and your life. It's about friendship, loyalty and bonds that grow between people. It's about enjoying the small things in life, focusing on the positive rather than the negative, and above all it is about knowing there is always a way forward.

Buy The Happiness List at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read The Choir on Hope StreetLife or Something Like It  or Not Quite Perfect by Annie Lyons.