Friday, 19 October 2018

#PublicationDay #BlogTour No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley


It's Publication Day for No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley. A funny and loving story about a young woman who rediscovers her love of Christmas and finds someone to share this love with.
About the Author
Born in a small village in Staffordshire, I wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when I grew up. After many years, and many different jobs, my dream of writing a bestseller came true.

I write about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hope that my tales make you cry a little, laugh a lot, and occasionally say 'ahhh'.

I now live in a Cheshire village with my family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Follow @ZaraStoneley @HarperImpulse on Twitter
on Facebook on Instagram
Visit zarastoneley.com
Buy No One Cancels Christmas


About the book
It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.
The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….
But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.
With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…


Review
Sarah runs a travel agency with her aunt and has to deal with dissatisfied customers and holiday resorts who refuse to uphold their end of the bargain. The owner of The Shooting Star is snarky, unhelpful and completely unwilling to tow the line or Sarah's line.

Returning to The Shooting Star Mountain resort isn't an easy feat for Sarah. It's where she lost her parents or rather the place she remembers being the end of one life and the beginning of another. It isn't the warm, cosy place she has in her head. Instead she finds the resort lacking a caring hand and a loving touch.

The owners are two handsome brothers, one of them a carefree playboy and the other is competing to win the title of Scrooge of the century. Bah Humbug doesn't even come close to Will's attitude towards Christmas.

It's a funny and loving story about a young woman who rediscovers her love of Christmas and finds someone to share this love with. It's about moving on from a traumatic past and finding comfort and peace in the future.

Stoneley reminds me of Sarah Morgan. She has a great sense of humour, which she combines with emotional scenarios and memorable characters. The result is the kind of romcom everyone talks about and recommends to their friends. Sassy chat and impulsive passionate encounters is what makes this an addictive read. Add a little joy to the world and Xmas cheer and you have the perfect Christmas read.

Buy No One Cancels Christmas at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy No One Cancels Christmas at Amazon com

#BlogTour Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid


This is week three of the BlogTour Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid. I was due to post at the end of the second week, but couldn't due to personal circumstances. So... I am just going to sneak my blog post into the third week instead.


About the Author
Rebecca is a freelance journalist. She is a columnist for the Telegraph Women’s section, works for Metro Online and has written for Marie Claire, the Guardian, the Saturday Telegraph, the Independent, Stylist, Glamour, the iPaper, the Guardian, Indy100, LOOK and the New Statesmen amongst others.

Rebecca is a regular contributor to Sky News and ITV’s This Morning as well as appearing on Radio 4's Woman's Hour, LBC, BBC News 24 and the BBC World Service to discuss her work.

She graduated from Royal Holloway’s Creative Writing MA in 2015 and Perfect Liars is her debut novel. Rebecca Lives in North London with her husband.

Follow @RebeccaCNReid @TransworldBooks on Twitter
Buy Perfect Liars


About the book
Sixteen years ago, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable whilst attending an exclusive British boarding school. Their crime forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond a bond of silence. But now, one of them wants to talk.

One wrong word and everything could be ruined; their covetable lives, careers and relationships. It's up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. But things do not go as planned.
Three women walk in to the dinner, but only two will leave.
Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around...

Review
Georgia, Lila and Nancy share memories, experiences at boarding school, friendship and they also share a very tragic secret. The kind of secret that changes and influences lives. The kind of secret that may make you question whether your friends stay in touch because they care about you or keep in touch to make sure their secret stays hidden.

The relationships between the three of them are driven by their upbringing, their new socio-economic statuses and their dominant personalities. Their interactions are often hesitant and only take place after plenty of thought and self-doubt, which makes the reader wonder why they meet up at all. The answer - to make sure each one of them keeps stumm about what they did when they were young girls.

Reid has a knack of presenting the kind of plot you need to follow as a reader just so you can find out where she is taking the story, and believe you me, it isn't where you expect it to go. Not only does she make it a necessity when it comes to finding out their secret, but also how the three of them are going to keep sitting on said secret.

I especially enjoyed the fact the author didn't feel the need to tie all the ends together and present the perfect package or solution at the end. Crime is dirty, impulsive and muddied by emotions, and so is this plot.

It's gripping, intense and ruthless. Possibly because it is based on a situation that could happen to anyone. Making a self-serving and selfish decision to protect yourself might be cruel and thoughtless, but it doesn't necessarily make you a sociopath. Even accidental killers will try and save themselves., right?

Buy Perfect Liars at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.


Thursday, 18 October 2018

#BlogTour Under My Skin by Lisa Unger


Today It's my turn on the BlogTour Under My Skin by Lisa Unger. I have an extract of this fantastic book and a Giveaway to win a copy of Under My Skin.

Leave a comment under this post between the 18th - 25th October to enter the Giveaway to win a copy of Under My Skin!

About the Author
Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of 15 novels, including the latest psychological thriller The Red Hunter.
Her books are published in 26 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.

Follow @lisaunger @HQStories on Twitter
Visit lisaunger.com
Buy Under My Skin


About the book
Her husband's killer may she closer than she thinks…
It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run. She’s trying to move on but what happened that morning is still haunting her. And now she is sure she is being followed...

Sleep deprived and secretly self-medicating, Poppy is unable to separate her dreams from reality.
She feels like she’s losing her mind. But what if she’s not? What if she’s actually remembering what really happened? What if her husband wasn't who he said he was? And what if his killer is still watching her...


Review
Poppy is still suffering from the loss of her husband, the loss of her time and the ability to separate reality from dream. There is something in the back of her mind, some element of suspicion that is trying to wriggle its way to the front of her consciousness. A secret perhaps or a wisp of a conversation, possibly even a clue she has been looking for.

 In her own convoluted way she starts investigating the mysterious death with little regard to the home truths she may encounter. She discovers a less than comfortable image of herself in the course of her investigation. A woman who thinks little of her own safety and constantly puts her own life on the line. Is she playing with fire because of the grief or is this the real Poppy?

Unger keeps her readers in the dark until the very end, which is a feat in itself, because keeping a certain amount of tension throughout the entire book is no easy task. Readers are never quite sure whether Poppy has a secret to hide or whether she is just a victim of grief and shock after the murder of her husband.

The author sits on the secrets like a mother hen warming her chick and lets the story wind around a woman filled with grief, doubt and intuition. It becomes an interesting one woman show, a dialogue of self-doubt, fragmented memories and fear.

It is a tension filled riveting read, a slow-burning psychological thriller with a surprising end. The plot really does try to get under your skin like a worm of doubt.

Buy Under My Skin at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read an extract of Under My Skin:
Prologue
I like him. I do.
But.
There’s always a but, isn’t there?
He’s talking and I should be listening. I’m not. Does he see it, that I'm scattered, distracted? Doubtful. He doesn't seem especially observant, has that way about him that people do now. As if they are putting on a show of themselves, as if the moment is being watched rather than lived. He glances about as he talks. Up at the television screens over the bar, all on mute, all tuned
it, that I’m scattered, distracted? Doubtful. He doesn’t seem especially observant, has that way about him that people do now. As if in to different sporting events. Down at the phone that sits dark beside him. Back to me, off again to the rowdy table across from us - a postwork gathering I'm guessing from the rumpled suits and tired eyes. I soak in the details of him: his shock of ink black hair, thick - any girl would kill for it; dark stubble on his jaw, just enough - sexy, not unkempt, style, not neglect; his gym-toned body. Beneath the folds of his lavender oxford, the dip of cut abs, the round of a well-worked shoulder. If I had a camera in my hand - not a smartphone but a real camera - say a mirrorless Hasselblad X1D ergonomic, light - old-school style with high tech innards - I'd watch him through the lens and try to find the moment when he revealed himself, when the muscles in the face relaxed and the mask dropped, even for just a millisecond. Then I'd see him. The man he really is when he steps off the stage he imagines himself on.
To read more click this link...

Extract - Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

I already knew he was handsome, stylish, in shape, before we agreed to meet. His profile told me as much. He works in finance. (Of course he does.) His favorite book is the Steve Jobs autobiography. (What else?) But what’s under his skin, that carefully manicured outer layer? Beneath the mask he puts on in the morning—what’s there? The camera always sees it.
He runs his fingertips along the varnished edge of the table between us, then steeples them. I read somewhere that this is the gesture of someone very sure of himself and his opinions. It tracks. He seems very sure of himself, as people who know very little often are.
He laughs, faux self-deprecating, at something he’s just said about himself. His words still hang in the air, something about his being a workaholic. What a relief that it’s just drinks, not dinner. No point in wasting time, if it’s not there, he wrote. Who could disagree? So adult. So reasonable.
I never thought it would be. It can’t be. Because it has nothing to do with the way he looks. It isn’t about his eyes, black, heavily lashed and half-lidded. Or the bow of his mouth, full, kissable. (Though I might kiss him anyway. Maybe more. Depends.) Attraction, desire is nothing to do with the physical; it’s chemical, a head trip. And my head—well, let’s just say it’s not on straight.
A woman laughs too loud—a cackle really, harsh and jarring. It startles me, sends a pulse of adrenaline through me. I scan the crowd. I really shouldn’t be here.
“Time for another?” he asks. His teeth. They’re so white. Perfectly aligned. Nothing in nature is so flawless. Braces. Whitening.
The rim of the glass is ice-cold beneath my fingertip. The
drink went down fast, too fast. I promised myself I wouldn’t drink, not with everything that’s been going on. It’s been a long day, a long week. A long year. The weight of it all is tugging at me, pulling me under.
I take too long to answer and he frowns, just slightly, looks at his phone. I should just leave. This is crazy.
“Sure,” I say instead. “One more.”
He smiles again, thinks it’s a good sign.
Really, I just want to go home, pull up my hair, put on my sweats, get into bed. Even that’s not an option. Once we walk out of here, it’s back to the jigsaw puzzle of my life.
“Grey Goose and soda,” he tells the waitress when he’s flagged her down. He remembers what I’m drinking. A small thing, but so few people pay attention to the details these days. “And Blanton’s on the rocks.”
Straight bourbon, very manly.
“Am I talking too much?” he says. He looks sweetly sheepish. Is it put on? “I’ve heard that before. My last girlfriend, Kim—she said I ramble when I get nervous.”
It’s the second time he’s mentioned her, his “last girlfriend, Kim.” Why, I wonder? Carrying a torch? Or just trying to market himself as someone who’s been in a relationship? Also, “last girlfriend.” It begs the question: How many others? Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I do that.
“Not at all.”
I am a seeker. I want to explore the world. Don’t you? I love to learn, to cook, to travel. I get lost in a good book.
That’s what his profile said. In his picture, he smiled, nearly laughing, hair wind-tossed. It was a good photo, could have come from a magazine—which is always suspicious. Photographers know all the tricks to capturing beauty, the right angles, the proper lighting, the magic of filters. The truth is that most people aren’t that hot in person. Even beautiful people, real ones, are flawed in some way—not airbrushed, or prettily
windblown, eyes glittering. Lines around the eyes and mouth, an almost imperceptibly crooked nose, a faint scar—chicken pox or a childhood fall from a bike. People, real people, have a little stain from lunch on their tie, maybe something hanging from their nose or in their teeth, patches of dry skin, shoes that need replacing. These imperfections make us who we are, tell the truth of our lives.
But to his credit, he is close to as good-looking as his profile picture. But something’s off. What is it?
There’s nothing special about my profile picture, nothing misleading, just a photo snapped by my friend Layla, who set the whole thing up. Of course, she’s a talented photographer, my oldest friend and knows how to shoot me. No filter, though, no Photoshop tricks. What you see is what you get. Sort of.
“What about you?” he says.
The waitress delivers the drinks to our high-top. Her ears are lined with silver hoops; another in her lip. She is fleshy but pretty with startling green eyes that give her an otherworldly look. I bet she reads a lot of teen fantasy novels. Twilight. Harry Potter. Hunger Games.
“Thank you, darlin’,” he says to her. He drops the g and inflects the word with a twang, though I know he was born and raised in New Jersey. She beams at him, flushes a little. He’s a charmer in a sea of snakes.
I notice that he has a way of looking at women, a warm gaze, a wide smile. It seems like a choice. A technique. He knows that women like to be gazed upon, attended to with male eyes. It makes them feel pretty, special in a world where we too rarely feel like either of those things. She smiles at him, does this quick bat of her eyelashes. She likes him. I can tell; she glances at him from time to time as she shuttles back and forth along the bar, between the other high-tops she’s also serving. Even if I walk out of here, I’m sure someone will go home with him.
9780778369783_
Good-looking, charming guys emanating the scent of money rarely go lonely.
“What do you want to know?” I ask when he turns back to me.
He takes a sip of his bourbon, gazes over his glass, mischievous. “In your profile, you said you were a runner.”
Did Layla put that in my profile? Layla—this dating thing? All her idea. Time to get back out there, girlfriend. I honestly don’t remember what we put in the profile.
“I run,” I say. The truth is that I used to run. “I don’t know if I’d call myself a runner.”
“What’s the difference?”
“I run—for exercise, because I like it, because it calms me. But it doesn’t define me. I don’t have a group, or register for races, travel to do marathons or whatever.”
Am I rambling?
Finally, “I run. I am not a runner. Anyway, I’m more indoors lately, at the gym.”
He nods slowly, a pantomime of the careful listener, looks down at his glass.
I almost tell him about Jack then; it’s always right on the tip of my tongue.
My husband was killed last year, I want to say. He was attacked while he was running in Riverside Park at 5:00 a.m. Whoever it was—they beat him to death. His murder is still unsolved. I should have been with him. Maybe if I had been… Anyway. I don’t find running as enjoyable as I used to.
But then he’s talking about how he started running in high school, ran in college, still runs, travels for marathons, is thinking about a triathlon in New Mexico next year, but his work in finance—the hours are so crazy.
Kim’s right, I think. He talks too much. And not just when he’s nervous. Because he’s not nervous, not at all.
It’s his nails. They’re perfect. They are, in fact, professionally manicured.
 Expertly shaped and buffed squares at the ends of thick fingers. He steeples them again on the table between us. That’s the but. Vanity. He’s vain, spends a lot of time on himself. The gym, his clothes, his skin, hair, nails. Which is fine for tonight. But in the long game, when it’s time to stop worrying about yourself and start thinking about someone else, he’s not going to be able to do it. The lens would have seen it right away.
Should I mention my nervous breakdown, the one I had after Jack died, how days of my life just—disappeared? Probably not, right?
The space grows more crowded, louder. It’s one of those Upper East Side sports bars with big screens mounted at every angle, games from all over the country, all over the world playing. It’s filling up with the after-work crowd, men who are really still babies with their first jobs, fresh out of school, girls—tight-bodied, hair dyed, waxed and threaded, tits high—who have no idea what the next ten years will hold, how many disappointments small and large.
It’s Thursday, tomorrow the end of the workweek, so the energy is high, exuberant voices booming. Our waitress drifts back and forth, deftly balancing trays of clinking highballs, frothy pilsners of beer, shot glasses of amber liquid. Shots? Really? Do people still do that?
There’s a buzz of anxiety in the back of my head as I scan the crowd, turn to look through the big windows to the street. Someone’s been following me, I almost say, but don’t. I’ve been suffering from some sleep disturbances, some unsettling dreams that might be memories, and to be truthful my life is a bit of a mess. But I don’t say those things. He’s still talking, this time about work, a boss he doesn’t like.

It’s closing in, all the laughter, cheering, bodies starting to press, ties loosening, hair coming down. I let him pick the meeting place. I’d have chosen a quiet spot downtown—in the West
Village or Tribeca, someplace soothing and serene, dark, where you speak in low tones, lean in, get to know someone.
Note to self: don’t let them choose—even though the choice speaks volumes. In fact, this dating thing, maybe it’s not for me at all.
“I’ve got an early day tomorrow,” I say, in the next lull between things he’s saying about himself. He’s been practically yelling, to be heard above the din. I should get out of here. Huge mistake.
I see it then. A flinty look of angry disappointment. It’s gone in a millisecond, replaced by a practiced smile.
“Oh,” he says. He looks at his watch—a Fitbit, wouldn’t you know it. “Yeah, me, too.”
“This has been great,” I say. He picks up the check, which the bartender must have laid in front of him at some point.
I take my wallet out.
“Let’s split it,” I say. I prefer to pay or split in these circumstances; I like the feel of equal ground beneath my feet.
“No,” he says. His tone has gone a little flat. “I’ve got it.”
It’s not just the nails. There’s a sniff of arrogance, something cold beneath the flirting. I can see the glint of it, now that he knows he’s not going to get what he came for. Or maybe it’s not any of those things. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with him at all. Very likely it’s that something is wrong with me.
Or most likely of all, it’s just that he’s not Jack.
Until you let your husband go, no one else will measure up. That’s what my shrink said.
I’m trying. I’m dating.
Setting them up to knock them down isn’t dating.
Is that what I’m doing? Just killing time with men who can’t help but to ultimately reveal themselves as not-Jack. They won’t be as funny as he was, or know just where to rub my shoulders. They won’t run out at any hour for anything I need, without being asked. I’ll go grab it for you. They won’t have his laugh, orthat serious set to his face when he’s concentrating. They won’t bite on the inside of their cheeks when annoyed. They won’t feel like him, or smell like him. Not-Jack.
Until one day, says Dr. Nash, there’s someone else who you love for all new reasons. You’ll build a new life. I don’t bother telling her that it’s not going to happen. In fact, there are a lot of things I don’t bother telling Dr. Nash.
On the street, though I reach out for his hand, he tries for a kiss. I let his lips touch mine, but then I pull back a little, something repelling me. He jerks back, too. It’s awkward. No heat. Nothing. I shouldn’t be disappointed, should have long ago lost the capacity for disappointment. I suspected (knew) that it wouldn’t be there. But I thought maybe if there was heat, some physical spark, I wouldn’t need the sleeping pills tonight. Maybe we’d go back to his place and I’d have a reprieve from putting back the pieces of my fractured life.

Now I must decide where I will go tonight—back to an apartment I was supposed to share with my husband but where I now live alone and no longer feel safe, back to Layla’s penthouse, maybe to a hotel.
A police car whips up Lexington. Whoop. Whoop.
“Maybe we could run this weekend?” He’s still working it, though I can’t imagine why. “Ever try the trails up in Van Cortlandt Park? Short but pretty—you feel miles away from the city.”
“Nice,” I say.
Unless there’s someone lurking in the shadows, and no one can hear you call for help.
“Should I text you?”
He’ll never text me, of course.
“That sounds great.”
Even if he does text me, I won’t answer him. Or I’ll put him off until he gets the hint. It’s easy like that, this dating thing in the age of technology. You can dangle someone off the edge of
your life until they just float away, confused. Ghosting, I think the millennials call it.
“Can I see you home?” he asks.
“No,” I say. “I’m fine. Thanks.”
I feel wobbly, suddenly. It’s after nine, and those two vodka sodas are sloshing around in an empty stomach, not to mention the other chemicals floating in my bloodstream. I haven’t eaten anything since—when?
“You okay?” he asks. His concern seems exaggerated, his tone almost mocking. There are other people on the street, a couple laughing, intimate, close, a kid with his headphones on, a homeless guy sitting on the stoop.
“I’m fine,” I say again, feeling defensive. I didn’t have that much to drink.

But then he has his arm looped through mine, too tight, and I find myself tipping into him. I try to pull away from him. But he doesn’t allow it. He’s strong and I can’t free my arm.
“Hey,” I say.
“Hey,” he says, a nasty little mimic. “You’re okay.”
Of course I’m okay, I want to snap. But the words won’t come. There’s just this bone-crushing fatigue, this wobbly, foggy, vague feeling. Something’s not right. The world starts to brown around the edges. Oh, no. Not now.
“She’s okay,” he says, laughing. His voice sounds distant and strange. “Just one too many I guess.”
Who’s he talking to?
“Let go of me,” I manage, my voice an angry hiss.
He laughs; it’s echoing and strange. “Take it easy, sweetie.”
He’s moving me too fast up the street, his grip too tight. I stumble and he roughly keeps me from falling.
“What the hell are you doing?” I ask.
Fear claws at the back of my throat. I can’t wait to get away from this guy. He pulls me onto a side street; there’s no one around.
“Hey.” A voice behind us. He spins, taking me with him. There’s someone standing there. He looks distantly familiar as the world tips. Somewhere inside me there’s a jangle of alarm. He has a dark hood on, his face not visible.
It’s him.
He’s big, bigger than—what’s his name? Reg, or something. Rex? The big man blocks our path up the sidewalk.
“Hey, seriously, dude,” says Rick. Yes, Rick, that was it. “Step aside. I’ve got this.”
But the world is fading fast, going soft and blurry, tilting. There’s a flash, quick-fire movement. Then a girlish scream, a river of blood. Black red on lavender.
Then arms on me.
Falling.
Nothing.

#BlogTour The Poppy Field by Deborah Carr


I missed the Publication Day Push (12th October 2018) for The Poppy Field by Deborah Carr, so I am just going to sneak myself onto the end of the BlogTour instead.


About the Author
Deborah Carr lives on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands with her husband, two children and three rescue dogs. She became interested in books set in WW1 when researching her great-grandfather's time as a cavalryman in the 17th 21st Lancers.

She is part of ‘The Blonde Plotters’ writing group and was Deputy Editor on the online review site, Novelicious.com for seven years. Her debut historical romance, Broken Faces, is set in WW1 and was runner-up in the 2012 Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition and given a 'special commendation' in the Harry Bowling Prize that year. The Poppy Field is her second historical novel.

Follow @DebsCarr @HarperImpulse on Twitter


About the book
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Young nurse, Gemma, is struggling with the traumas she has witnessed through her job in the NHS. Needing to escape from it all, Gemma agrees to help renovate a rundown farmhouse in Doullens, France, a town near the Somme. There, in a boarded-up cupboard, wrapped in old newspapers, is a tin that reveals the secret letters and heartache of Alice Le Breton, a young volunteer nurse who worked in a casualty clearing station near the front line.

Set in the present day and during the horrifying years of the war, both woman discover deep down the strength and courage to carry on in even the most difficult of times. Through Alice’s words and her unfailing love for her sweetheart at the front, Gemma learns to truly live again.
This is a beautifully written epic historical novel that will take your breath away.


Review
This is a story about a woman finding herself via the medium of a voice from the past. A stranger's love story helps Gemma to acknowledge that she needs to take what she wants with both hands and to live life with no regrets..

Gemma finds a metal box full of letters from Alice, a VAD during WW1, written to her paramour. My great-grandmother was a VAD in France in the Great War, and now and again she would speak of a Canadian love she met and lost there, so the read had sentimental value for me. The love letters become a path of discovery and make Gemma more aware of her own needs and desires.

The connection to the farmhouse, the area, and a very handsome contractor, make Gemma feel even more as if she has found a place to call home. Instead of seeing the content of the letters as Gemma reads them, the reader is taken into the past to WW1 and the life of Alice Le Breton. There are parallels between the lives of the two women, which is what fascinates Gemma, despite the many years that separates them.

I have to give Carr her dues for combining fact with fiction, especially when it comes to the more harsh realities of WW1. Facts such as; the short life expectancy of a pilot, the flimsy material the planes were made out of and the fact the pilots couldn't see where they were going or flying, and the vicious use of gas as a weapon. How frightened the soldiers were by the noise, the brutality and hopelessness of the situation, and how limited the medical professionals were when it came to saving lives.

Carr reminds us how brave both the volunteers and the enlisted were, and how many lives both in the UK and abroad were devastated by the Great War.

It's an emotional combination of historical fact and fiction with romance and love at the very core of both tales.

Buy The Poppy Field at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: HarperImpulse  Pub. date 12 Oct. 2018

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

#BlogTour So Here It is by Dave Hill


I am delighted to take part in the BlogTour So Here It Is by Dave Hill. It's a heartfelt and open memoir by iconic rock group Slade's legendary guitarist.


About the Author
Dave Hill was born in a castle in Devon and moved with his parents to Wolverhampton when he was a year old. As a teenager he taught himself to play guitar and in 1966 formed the band Slade.

After the break-up of the original band, Dave eventually re-formed Slade, and twenty-five years later, they are still regularly touring the world, playing to hundreds of thousands of fans. Dave married his wife Jan in 1973, and they have three children and six grandchildren. They still live in Wolverhampton.


About the book
'No Slade = No Oasis. It's as devastating and as simple as that' Noel Gallagher

With six consecutive number one singles and the smash hit ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’, Slade were unstoppable. Now, the man whose outlandish costumes and unmistakable hairstyle made Slade one of the definitive acts of the Glam Rock era tells his story.

But there’s more to Dave’s life than rock 'n' roll and good times. So Here It Is also covers the band’s painful break-up, Dave’s subsequent battle with depression, and his recovery from the stroke that threatened to cut short his performing career.

If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a working-class lad from the Midlands suddenly confronted by unimaginable fame, So Here It Is is the definitive account, told with heart and humour and filled with never-before-seen photos.


Review
My first record (vinyl) was Look Wot You Dun by Slade, which I played on my little suitcase record-player. Much foot-stomping and clenched fisted singing was to be heard in our house in the early 70s.

When time and music styles pass so quickly I suppose it is easy to forget early influences in the music scene. I think Slade fits quite well into the category of being an influencer, albeit one that never achieved the levels of global fame they probably deserved.

Ironically their unique sound and fearless approach to their brand and fashion has been the inspiration for many other musicians, which allowed other groups to soar, whilst they plateaued in a way.

The story is an open and honest dialogue with the reader, although admittedly at times it appears as if Hill understands the significance of his early childhood trauma on his life and the possible genetic propensity for certain mental health issues, he seems reluctant to acknowledge the full scale of the impact on himself, his life and his family. On some level the instinct to protect his mother may weigh in higher than exposing her to the masses.

I admire his attempt to talk about his depression and the feeling of helplessness or lack of conviction when it comes to finding the right treatment and medication. I also admire the fact Hill lays all his cards on the table about his journey with Slade without slating anyone or rolling out both the petty and more serious disagreements that go hand in hand with being part of a successful iconic band.

It's a walk along memory lane, a cleansing of sorts and it's also an entirely new view on his career and how Slade became a household name, especially at Christmas. No Christmas Rock album is complete without Slade. No Brit Rock history is complete without mentioning Slade.

Buy So Here It Is at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Unbound
Follow @unbounders on Twitter


Monday, 15 October 2018

#BlogTour The Black Prince by Adam Roberts and Anthony Burgess


Many days late and a dollar short it's my turn on the BlogTour for The Black Prince, adapted from the original of Anthony Burgess, by Adam Roberts. It's an interesting one, because taking on the task of finishing the work of an author such as Anthony Burgess is no small deed. The expectations are a lot higher than in comparison to someone just publishing their own work.

'Adam Roberts has worked with the full cooperation of the Burgess Foundation to bring unpublished material from one of the twentieth century’s literary titans to light, author of A Clockwork Orange, Inside Mr Enderby and Earthly Powers.'


About the Author
Adam Roberts is a writer, critic and academic. He is the author of sixteen novels and many shorter works, including the prize-winning Jack Glass (2012). His most recent novel is The Real-Town Murders (2017). He is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, and has published critically on a wide range of topics, including nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction and science fiction. He lives in the south-east of England.

Follow @arrroberts @unbounders on Twitter
Visit adamroberts.com
Buy The Black Prince


About the book
‘I’m working on a novel intended to express the feel of England in Edward III’s time ... The fourteenth century of my novel will be mainly evoked in terms of smell and visceral feelings, and it will carry an undertone of general disgust rather than hey-nonny nostalgia’ – Anthony Burgess, Paris Review , 1973

The Black Prince is a brutal historical tale of chivalry, religious belief, obsession, siege and
bloody warfare. From disorientating depictions of medieval battles to court intrigues and betrayals, the campaigns of Edward II, the Black Prince, are brought to vivid life by an author in complete
control of the novel as a way of making us look at history with fresh eyes, all while staying true
to the linguistic pyrotechnics and narrative verve of Burgess’s best work.
Review
This is based on unpublished material by Anthony Burgess, and the most important thing to remember whilst reading this is that Roberts has tried to stay true to the very distinctive style of Burgess. If you have every read or watched Clockwork Orange it will give you a sense of what to expect.

The focus of the novel is on the Black Prince and the revisiting of the battles he was involved in, starting at the tender age of sixteen when his encounter with a brave king becomes a lifelong symbol of perseverance and determination.

Instead of a narrative you have to imagine a type of a flashback experience, a searching of the soul and sometimes an attempt at a cleansing of conscience. Not just by the Black Prince but by people from all walks of life, from plague victims, clergymen, mercenaries to important historical figures.

Roberts has taken an interesting step by including modern moments like imagined press releases to break the momentum, perhaps in an attempt to make readers connect the past with the present.
It is a very visceral read. It's an attempt to draw the reader inside the hearts and heads of the characters, and to try and let them experience the emotions and turmoil themselves.

I think one of the elements I enjoyed the most was the reality check when it comes to The Black Prince. Roberts gives us the more likely rendition of events, as opposed to the often romanticised view of certain figures in history.

It's a very specific style which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Roberts does do the Burgess style justice and it is definitely worth the read.

Buy The Black Prince at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Unbound


#BlogTour The River Runs Red by Ally Rose


Today it's my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The River Runs Red by Ally Rose. It is certainly more than just a crime story, because it incorporates a complicated time in history and politics to create a captivating read.

About the Author
Ally Rose writes –

"I've always been interested in writing crime stories and with the Cold War era, there is such a rich tapestry to draw from; especially the notorious and quelling Stasi reign in East Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, gives a contrast between the different worlds and any past crimes are held to account in a unified Germany.

Berlin is one of my favourite cities, and I've spent time living and discovering this diverse city and its surrounding areas. Seeing my characters in familiar places, they seem to come to life.

Hope you enjoy my Hanne Drais books."

Follow @AllyRoseAuthor @fahrenheitpress on Twitter
Buy The River Runs Red


About the book
Berlin is in the midst of its worst winter in decades.

Against the backdrop of freezing temperatures, blizzards and snowstorms, the city refuses to grind to a halt. Lurking within the shadows is a Stasi victim, out for revenge against the former East German informants known as ‘The Ears’. Their dark secrets are about to be exposed.

A mix of ice and water and a single gunshot, provides the ultimate payback.

With the Millennium approaching, Hanne Drais, the criminal psychologist working within the Berlin Mitte Police team led by the irascible Oskar Kruger and his laid-back sidekick, Stefan Glockner, are seeking the perpetrator of these violent crimes.

Who is the man they’ve nicknamed Snowflake?

Who is turning the river red?


Review
Like many periods in history the Cold War era and the time before the Berlin Wall fell, has fallen into the bracket of 'happened and forgotten.' The true nature and manner of the atrocities committed behind the Wall has only really come to light since Germany became reunited again.

The Stasi and the DDR regime were and are guilty of many horrors, many of which still aren't common knowledge to the public and the world in general. This includes state ordered steroid use for athletes, which caused a multitude of medical problems in said athletes and their offspring. East Germany was built on betrayal, lies and the premise of every man and woman for themselves. Many people who were reported, spied on and betrayed still travel to Berlin to look up the Stasi documents to discover the person who sold them up the river.

The story follows the investigation into a killer who leaves a very specific mark on his victims, and Rudy the Olympic rower who manages to escape the dangers of East Germany. He appears to be a shoe-in for the role of vengeful killer until the author adds another element of suspicion to the tale.

This is the third book in the Hanne Drais series, and the author purposely adds an element of right or wrong. moral or immoral to the story. Do some people deserve less sympathy or justice depending on their past actions? Would you view a killer differently if they were eliminating people guilty of torture and murder?

It's hard to understand the rift caused not only by the Berlin Wall, but also the trauma of living under an oppressive regime, whilst the other half of the country was a democracy. Even now, so many years after the reunification the Germans still make distinctions between people from the West and East. I think the strength of the story is definitely Rose shining a light on how methodically cruel the regime was in the East and that the people were expected to just forgive and forget the crimes committed against them when the Wall came down.

This story may hold a few surprises for some readers. It is certainly more than just a crime story, because it incorporates a complicated time in history and politics to create a captivating read.

Buy The River Runs Red at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy at Fahrenheit Press Buy at Amazon com
Published by Fahrenheit Press on 24th July 2018.


Monday, 8 October 2018

#BlogTour The Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie


Today it's my pleasure to bring a wee bit of horror with a smidgen of creepy with the BlogTour The Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie. You might want to keep an eye on your toys and the other eye open whilst you are sleeping from now on.


About the Author
A long time fan of all things dark and spooky, D.W. Gillespie began writing monstrous stories while still in grade school. At one point, his mother asked the doctor if there was anything she should be concerned about, and he assured her that some kids just like stories about decapitations.

He's been writing on and off for over a decade, quietly building a body of work that includes horror and dark sci-fi. His novels include Still Dark, The Toy Thief, and a short story collection titled Handmade Monsters.

He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two kids, all three of which give him an endless supply of things to write about.

Follow @dw_gillespie @flametreepress on Twitter


About the book
Jack didn’t know what to call the nameless, skeletal creature that slunk into her house in the dead of night, stealing the very things she loved the most. So she named him The Toy Thief…

There’s something in Jack’s past that she doesn’t want to face, an evil presence that forever changed the trajectory of her family. It all began when The Toy Thief appeared, a being drawn by goodness and innocence, eager to feed on everything Jack holds dear. What began as a mystery spirals out of control when her brother, Andy, is taken away in the night, and Jack must venture into the dark place where the toys go to get him back. But even if she finds him, will he ever be the same?

Review
It knew - has to be one of the creepiest sentences in this book.
Jack blames herself for killing her mother, and so does her brother Andy. Their Dad is barely coping and they have a hate-fight relationship barring one exception, nobody else gets to treat either one of them badly. First rule of sibling war strategy - siblings come before outsiders.

The often strained relationship between the two of them takes on another level when one evening Jack accidentally sees something she wasn't supposed to see. Something is in the house with them, a thing that wants their toys, until she realises it wants more than just their special toys.

Gillespie brings horror, dysfunctional relationships and reality together, which gives the read a surreal aura. At times the border between what is real, dream and the Toy Thief are skewed. I have a tendency to look for the metaphor, the hidden and the deeper meaning. Bad habit probably because sometimes a Toy Thief is just a Toy Thief, and not a Freudian slip.

Saying that, the Thief is attracted to the toys that hold a special emotional value to the child. The ones with an essence of nostalgia, sadness and also moments of joy attached to them. Toys equalling memories, which in turn make them more valuable to the child and the Thief.

One of the most poignant moments in the story is towards the end when the realisation of being broken, hence a possible danger to others, leads to a tragic decision. That is where the horror story takes a break and the real world slips in again. Where does the evil inside man end and the evil of the Thief begin?

There is no doubt the author has a talent for bringing nightmares to life and putting childhood trauma, albeit trauma caused by shadowy evil crawling along the ceilings at night, into words and creating the imagery to go with it.

Buy The Toy Thief at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Flame Tree Press

#SpotlightTour What They Don't Know by Nicole Maggi


Today it really is a pleasure to shed a spotlight on What They Don't Know by Nicole Maggi. It's an emotional story full of desperation, and unfortunately also a statement about how we treat young girls and women in the 21st century.

Don't forget to enter the Giveaway below to Win 2 Copies of What They Don’t Know (US & Canada only) 
Read an excerpt of What They Don't Know at the bottom of this post!



About the Author
Nicole Maggi wrote her first story in third grade about a rainbow and a unicorn. After working as an actress in NYC, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family and two oddball cats.

Follow @nicolemaggi @SourcebooksFire on Twitter
Visit nicolemaggi.com
Buy What They Don't Know


About the book
Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.

Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter. But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice—a choice she must face alone.

Lise stands up—and speaks out—for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her…all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through Mellie and Lise’s journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie’s struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.


Review
It's an incredibly poignant story, and so relevant to our current political atmosphere when it comes to the patriarchal system trying to take women back into the dark ages and keep us there.

Imagine being a frightened teenager growing up in a house where women have no voice and religion dictates her life. In the middle of a family who will force her to make a choice she would rather not make. A family who will blame her for the violation she experienced.

Mellie finds her opinions and beliefs changing as she finds herself in a situation without an apparent solution. Being on the other side of the fence puts an entirely different spin on things. It's also the beginning of new friendship when her religious do-gooder friends turn on her when she starts to rebel against the system. The only light at the end of the tunnel is someone who is the exact opposite of Mellie, but in fact they find they have more in common than they think.

Listen up pro-lifers it is statistically proven that getting rid of abortion clinics, making abortions illegal and taking the choice away from women, does not reduce the number of abortions. It just raises the number of young girls and women putting their lives in danger by seeking abortionists from backstreet abortions or attempting old wives tale remedies.

The story is a series of diary entries written to a teacher by Mellie and Lise. It begins as a school assignment, which leads to a friendship and a salvation. The entries are slotted into the story in a way that is so smooth the reader can almost forget what they are.

It's an emotional story full of desperation, and unfortunately also a statement about how we treat young girls and women in the 21st century. It's a book I would buy for both my sons and daughters. My daughters so they can read and recognise the oppression, and my sons so they will understand how not to treat the women in their lives.

It's sheds a light on the hypocrisy of pro-lifers, especially the ones hiding under the umbrella of Christianity. The people who think Mellie doesn't deserve a choice or a say in her own life and her own body. It's a thought-provoking read.

Buy What They Don't Know at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 2 Copies of What They Don’t Know (US & Canada only)
Runs October 2nd -31st

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Excerpt from What They Don’t Know:

February 13
Dear Ms. Tilson,

You probably think you know who I am, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t. I used to be a bright star of a girl, but that girl burned out of existence, like a fire swept through my life and left nothing but ash and smoke. That smoke is the memory of what I had, so thick I can smell it and feel it in my eyes and ears and nose. But I can’t touch it. Smoke, like memories, will slip through your fingers and disappear as if it never existed at all.
I keep thinking that if I could write down how my life used to be, maybe I could capture that smoke, keep it from drifting away. That’s what made me finally crack open this journal you gave us at the beginning of the semester. Could these pages be some magical vessel to contain that gone-girl? All those bright memories preserved in this one place?
I would write about how on Sundays, after the long hours spent at church, we’d pile into the truck, exhausted, and my mom would say, “I’m too tired to cook,” which is the greatest sin for a woman on a Sunday in our church, but my dad would smile indulgently and order a pizza. “God rested on Sunday; why shouldn’t you?” he’d joke. Then they would kiss, and I’d be reminded that I’m one of six kids, so they must’ve had sex at some point. Which is gross to think about but also comforting because it means there’s some order to the world.
I’d write about how when my youngest sister, Joanie, was a baby and would wake up crying in the middle of the night, I was usually the one who got there first with a bottle of warmed-up breast milk from the freezer. Some nights I’d rock her for hours even after she’d fallen asleep, watching her tiny eyelids flutter as she dreamed. What is she dreaming about? I’d wonder. Sometimes I’d place her gently in her crib and get my sketchbook, draw her in soft, black pencil. Those nights were magical. They seemed to exist in their own dimension, the spell broken only by the rising sun.
I’d write about the day after my older sister, Hannah, got her license. She picked me up from school, and instead of going straight home, we drove and drove and drove. We rode over the mountain passes, twisting along back roads until we came to this hole-in-the-wall dive in the middle of nowhere called the Wooden Nickel. Hannah had read about it in Sunset Magazine, how it supposedly had the best bison burgers in America. We ate them with their secret special sauce dripping down our chins, washed them down with small-batch root beer, and got home hours after dark. Mom and Dad yelled their heads off, and Hannah lost her license for a week, but after they sent us to bed, Hannah turned to me and said, “Worth it.”
I’d write about how I had everything I wanted and didn’t know it. I had a family who surrounded me with love and acceptance. I had a father and mother who stood on such high pedestals that the sun blinded me when I looked up at them. They loved me unconditionally, or so I thought. I never imagined there could be conditions under which they would not love me.
Every night I thanked God for my parents’ love and for my family’s abundance, and yet every day I took each of those things for granted. Now I’m left with the memory of what I once had.
No. These pages can’t contain that smoke, those memories. They’re gone now, destroyed in one irreversible moment.
Maybe I should stop here. Let you go on believing everything you think you know about me. That would definitely be easiest. I could record what I ate for breakfast, what time I went to bed, which TV shows I like to watch. All those myths you have about me can stay intact. You can go on thinking I’m the perfect daughter of Mayor Rivers, the shining example of the family values he talks about in speech after speech after speech. Believe that I never cause any trouble and I’m always a good girl. I’ll probably get a C, but you’ll never know my innermost thoughts. I’ll stay safe.
Except I can’t stay safe anymore.
As of December 21, nowhere is safe.
I would give anything to redo that day.
But I can’t.
And the only place I can talk about it is in these pages.
So let’s start with a pop quiz. True or False: Mellie Rivers is a virgin.
False. As of December 21, at 3:30 in the afternoon, on the floor in the basement of my house, I am not a virgin.
True or False: Mellie Rivers would never have sex before marriage.
True. I made a promise to God and my family, and I wear the ring on my left hand, where, presumably, one day, my husband will place a different, more permanent ring. I would have kept that promise. But the choice was taken from me.
True or False: Mellie Rivers would never, ever get pregnant out of wedlock.
False.
Signed,
Mellie Rivers

Friday, 5 October 2018

#SpotlightTour After the Fire by Will Hill


Today it is my turn to turn the Spotlight on After the Fire by Will Hill. It is a really good read, despite the topic, which is indicative of an author being able to captivate without turning the reader away from disturbing home-truths. a traumatic, psychologically captivating and well-written story.


About the Author
Will Hill grew up in the northeast of England and worked as a bartender, bookseller, and in publishing before quitting to write full-time. He lives is East London.

Follow @WillHillauthor @SourcebooksFire on Twitter
willhillauthor1 on Instagram
Visit willhillauthor.com


About the book
The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.

Before, she lived inside the fence. Before, she was never allowed to leave the property, never allowed to talk to Outsiders, never allowed to speak her mind. Because Father John controlled everything—and Father John liked rules. Disobeying Father John came with terrible consequences.
But there are lies behind Father John’s words. Outside, there are different truths.

Then came the fire.

Review
This is the story of a young girl caught in the middle of an abusive cult. It follows her as she finds her own truth and begins to rebel against the system, despite the fact part of her still believes what she is being told. It's a traumatic, psychologically captivating and well-written story.

Both Moonbean and the author are right about one thing, that there are some children and adults who are broken by their traumatic experiences. Some things aren't fixable, can't be therapeutically resolved and can't be healed by the power of faith. No matter what the experts say, and they can see the difference in the blank hollow eyes. Moon can see the difference, she can hear the brainwashed devotion and the survivors who may never deviate from the path they were taught to walk.

Perhaps the younger generations are unaware of Waco and similar cult-related tragedies, and this is reminder we all need of the danger cults bring with them. They are always run by megalomaniacs, power and money hungry ruthless con-men and sometimes women.

At this very moment there are men and women on trial for creating yet another so-called self-help environment, which is in fact a cesspool of women coercing other women into being branded (yes branded with the initials of the man at the top) and becoming sex slaves to the head of said wonderful group (Nxivm). Like another successful money leeching cult, who brainwash their members into thinking the mother-ship will be picking them up when the end is nye, Nxivm uses celebrities to bring in the vulnerable.

Unfortunately there are still too many religious cults that cultivate sexual abuse and incest, all in the name of the Lord. Fringe groups living just within the borderlines of legality, thereby the authorities are either powerless to help or ignore the children born and brought into these groups by their parents. The ones who become victims to people turning a blind eye.

This isn't just a YA read, it can be read by both younger and older readers. In fact I would recommend this book to give someone an idea of what the mindset is within these cults. How the upper echelon manage to control everyone within the group.

It's a fascinating look at what coercion, fear and religious zealots can do to a young mind. How systemic abuse and sexual abuse has become a normal part of the patriarchal society. Hill gives his reader a look on the inside, a close look at the way the mind of this child works. Torn between suppressed anger, feelings of abandonment and guilt, which will either help her save herself or slowly destroy her.

It is a really good read, despite the topic, which is indicative of an author being able to captivate without turning the reader away from disturbing home-truths.

Buy After the Fire on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy After the Fire on Amazon com Barnes & Noble BooksAMillion !ndigo IndieBound

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire, Release Date: October 2nd

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 2 copies of After the Fire (US & Canada only)
Runs October 2nd -31st

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Thursday, 4 October 2018

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

This is the first in the All Souls trilogy and has just been made into a major Sky television production, so if you haven't read the books yet the show might entice you to read all about Matthew and Diana.

Diana, who is a witch reluctant to use her magic, inadvertently calls up an influential magical manuscript, which in turn sets a series of disastrous events in motion. It is also the event that brings her together with a suave vampire called Matthew.

I know her reluctance to use magic is a major part of the plot, but man I really wanted to shake Diana at times. A lot. Come on woman zap someone, drown them, fly or cast a freaking spell. Enough with the virtuous witchy spiel. Surely being all sanctimonious and non-witchy gets tiring when someone is trying to spell you to death?

I was a little surprised by the strong focus on the romantic side of the plot, especially because the rest of the premise is very interesting from a magical perspective. It has elements of quite a few popular urban fantasy series including time travel, conflict between demons, witches and vampires, and a fateful connection between soulmates.

Harkness delivers to the romance and urban fantasy readers in equal measures, which is probably why the series is so popular. It's full of drama and tender moments of craving mixed with the new throes of passion and love. It isn't exactly what I expected, but I am interested to see where it goes.

Buy A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Follow @DebHarkness @headlinepg on Twitter

The books have been made into Sky TV series, which aired September 14th in the UK follow @ADiscoveryofWTV on Twitter.
Buy Shadow of Night (All Souls #2)
Buy The Book of Life (All Souls #3)
Publisher: Headline Books

The brand new book by Deborah Harkness was released on the 18th September 2018 it's the story of Marcus (progeny of Matthew de Clermont) and Phoebe Taylor. Buy Time's Convert here.


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

(The book currently doesn't have a cover - release date isn't until May 2019)

Review
If you've read a book by Wendy Walker before then you know how she likes to play with red herrings and twist her plots like someone wringing out a wet sheet. Just when you think you have it all figured out, she throws you off the trail completely.

The story is about two sisters, one of them lives under a dark cloud of suspicion because of a tragic event in the past. Everything Laura does, especially when it comes to romantic relationships, is always brought back to what she may or may not have done in the past.

Subsequently the reader is never quite sure whether they are dealing with Laura the secret psychopath or Laura the insecure victim of odd circumstances. When she goes missing after arranging to meet up with a man on dating website, her sister Rosie goes into meltdown and believes the worst has happened. She rounds up the troops before time runs out for Laura.

Simultaneously the reader is privy to events between Laura and this mysterious man, and let me tell you Walker presents an excellent cat and mouse game between the two of them. You're just never sure which one of them is the predator, which makes the read even more exhilarating.

Is Laura disturbed, are the rumours true? Has someone got a vendetta against her, is this simply a misunderstanding or is there something more sinister afoot? It's an enthralling well plotted psychological thriller, which will keep you guessing until the very last pages. Walker doesn't disappoint.

Pre-order The Night Before by Wendy Walker at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: St Martin's Press, On Sale May 2019

Follow @Wendy_Walker  @StMartinsPress on Twitter
Visit wendywalkerbooks.com
Read my review of All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

#BlogTour Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir


Today it is an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir. It's the sequel to Snare, and as in the first book, the action doesn't let up for a second. It's Nordic Noir with a hefty pinch of reality.


About the Author
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in
Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime
novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have
been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Follow @lilja1972  @OrendaBooks on Twitter
Visit liljawriter.com
Buy Trap


About the book
Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.
Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.
With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.


Review
Trap is the sequel to Snare, which is the story of a mother caught up in drug smuggling ring and desperately trying to save herself and her son. Trap begins with Sonja being brought back to her harsh reality, when she and Tomas are returned to Iceland against her will.

Sonja finds herself back in the same cycle of emotional blackmail and in the middle of a hive of criminals. Her focus however remains the same, to get her son away from his father. The only reason he wants Tomas is to keep Sonja in line and making a profit for him as a very good drug mule.

You can almost feel the change in Sonja in this book, as her feelings of helplessness turn into rage, which she channels to try and outsmart her ex and the hardcore criminals she is dealing with. Hopefully she hasn't bitten off more than she can chew?

When I say good drug mule I have to mention how efficient Sonja is at transporting the drugs and evading detection at the airports and border control points. The author seems to have researched this smuggling malarkey intricately and has it down to a fine art. Just to clarify - I mean describing it in the story and not actually physically smuggling anything herself.

The stories by Sigurdardóttir are going from strength to strength, which is perhaps not discernible at a first glance, because the pace is fast and the noir is darker than a sooty cat. It's easy to overlook the meticulous detail and research that has gone into the creation of the storyline, in regards to the drug smuggling and the fraudulent financial dealings by the bankers or banksters, as the author calls them.

It's an action packed, fast-paced read filled with the brutal reality of the drug world, an abusive controlling ex and the dirty world of finance. It's Nordic Noir with a hefty pinch of reality.

Buy Trap (Reykjavik Noir #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy Snare (Reykjavik Noir #1) at Amazon Uk


Read my review of Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir