Tuesday, 22 October 2019

#PublicationDayPush The Wife's Revenge by Deirdre Palmer

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the Publication day Push for The Wife's Revenge by Deirdre Palmer.
About the Author
I live in Brighton with my husband and a tabby cat called Chester. After a career in public sector admin, most recently at the University of Brighton, it was time to stop dreaming about being a writer and actually do something about it!  Fast forward to the present, and now I’m both traditionally published and self-published, with five women’s fiction novels under my own name, and five ‘cosy’ reads, writing as Zara Thorne.  I’ve also published a book of short stories, most of which were previously published in The People’s Friend magazine. ‘The Wife’s Revenge’ is my first foray into the psychological suspense genre.

Follow @DLPalmer_Writer on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on Amazon,Visit deirdrepalmer.comBuy The Wife's Revenge

About the book
Sometimes the lie is safer than the truth.
Fran made the biggest mistake of her life when she had an affair with Ben. Both families live in the village of Oakheart; their children are friends. Fran’s guilt shadows her days. But it’s no more than she deserves, or is it? At least she’s managed to protect her husband, Hector, from the harsh truth.
But for how long?

Tessa has left her troubles in the past and now has the perfect life. Ben might have his faults, but his life has not been easy. They need each other, and Tessa will do whatever it takes to eliminate any threats to her marriage.
Threats from women like Fran.

A cliff overlooks a disused chalk-pit. The locals call it High Heaven. It’s a place of secrets. And it’s where Oakheart newcomer Maria died. When Fran discovers a link between Maria and Ben, disturbing questions arise to which she has no way of knowing the answers.

Faced with an ultimatum from Tessa, time is running out for Fran. She’s scared, every minute of every day.
But where does the real danger lie?

From the outside Fran has a great marriage, three beautiful children and a wonderful life. But this is Fran now and not then. Not so long ago Fran was so happy with her life that she needed to seek more pleasure outside of her marriage. Pleasure with Tessa's husband. That's right with someone else's husband.

Tessa isn't blind to all the carnal shenanigans though. In fact she knows exactly when Ben starts to look elsewhere and stray. He can look and he can play for a while, but as soon as it gets serious Tessa has to take steps to ensure her family doesn't fall apart. Even if that means doing the absolute worst and unthinkable.

Palmer keeps the reader guessing when it comes to a question of guilt, because there are quite a few characters who appear to have a screw loose or are sailing close to the precipice of disturbed. Tessa is the classic jealous wife with vengeance on her mind and hatred in her heart. Ben seems to have some sociopathic tendencies he is hiding well, because he performs daily as the perfect and caring husband, and yet there is a dark and insidious side to his character.

The author plays with the different levels of culpability and guilt. How each character deals with it or not as the case may be. Humans are fallible - there is no such thing as perfection.

It's a riveting psychological thriller, a story with multiple layers of guilt and accountability. Palmer writes a gripping story. The kind that reels you in and keeps you on the hook until the last page.

Buy The Wife's Revenge at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat/Darkstroke books; pub date 22 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday, 21 October 2019

#BlogTour Christmas at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Christmas at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a £15 Amazon Gift Card (UK Only)
About the Author
Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath, England. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018, A Rebel At Pennington’s February 2019 and Christmas At Pennington’s September 2019.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website: https://rachelbrimble.com/

Connect with @RachelBrimble @Aria_Fiction on Twitter, on BookBubon Goodreads, on Instagram, on Amazon, And with Rachel Brimble on FacebookRachel's Readers Group on Facebook,Visit rachelbrimble.blogspot.com
Buy Christmas at Pennington's

About the book
Gripping drama as Pennington's department store prepares for a glittering Christmas in 1911, but a killer stalks the women of Bath.

Christmas sees Pennington's at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights. It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.

For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.

For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington's is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard. But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph's first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.
For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past. But can it ever be laid to rest?

Although this series is more of a cosy romance series that addresses important topics of the times, this book seemed to take it up a notch. The crime element of the story was a bit more gritty and full of emotional turmoil, and the domestic violence element played out quite well.

Brimble brings the confusion, behavioural issues and the blame game of the children to the plot, and shows the extreme situation Cordelia finds herself in.

There is a lot going on in this story, the murder, the domestic violence, the aspect of child abuse and women living in a patriarchal society, and much more. At times it seems as if one storyline has to be cut short to make room for another one, sometimes less is more.

Saying that, the author manages to maintain the feel of the Pennington books and the aura Elizabeth brings to the story. The elegance and atmosphere of the store, the struggle to claim her place in society because she has no rights as a woman. More importantly the strong friendships and bonds that form despite class and gender distinctions.

It's a cosy romance and crime with poignant social issues of the era woven into the plot. The author wants readers to take something away from the story, whilst simultaneously giving them a good read.

I enjoy the contradiction of the pleasant and controversial in the same plot - it makes for a good read.

Buy Christmas at Pennington's at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Aria pub date 19 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Mistress of Pennington's by Rachel Brimble
Read my review of A Rebel at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble

Enter the Giveaway to Win a £15 Amazon Gift Card (UK Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

Saturday, 19 October 2019

#BlogTour Silent Money by G.D. Harper

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Silent Money by G.D. Harper.

About the Author
I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.

In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells' Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.
I went to Glasgow University in 1975 and lived in the city’s West End, the time and place for the setting of the majority of Silent Money.

Follow @harper_author on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon,Visit gdharper.com
Buy Silent Money
About the book
Glasgow, 1972. Michael Mitchell is ambitious, talented and determined to succeed. But he learns the hard way that he will never achieve his goals in life – unless he plays by a different set of rules.
He partners with a small-time crook to help the Glasgow underworld launder the proceeds of their crimes. As the operation grows, Michael is forced to become more and more ruthless to protect what he has built.

Shocked by who he has become, he vows to leave the criminal world behind and start a new life. But the past has a way of catching up. Finally, he gambles everything on one last desperate attempt to break free.

This is the prequel to Love's Long Road, which tells the story of Michael's lover Roberta. This story is all about Michael Mitchell, and the third part in the trilogy, A Friend in Deed, features the story of Duncan. Although all three books in the trilogy are intertwined when it comes to the characters and the environment, each one of them can be read as a standalone novel.

There are certain career paths that are made easy and scattered with gold-plated nepotism and class snobbery. Where you come from, which school you went to and which social class you belong to matters more than talent and experience. Imagine being on the short end of the stick regardless of how hard you work and how much you deserve to climb up into the upper echelons of the career ladder.

That's exactly where Michael finds himself. Passed over again and again for promotions he deserves, and treated as if he were someone inferior and unworthy. The fact he can run rings around the privileged men who are handed the career opportunities that should be coming his way - well it makes him think twice about where he belongs.

The rejection makes him wander off the path of respectability and straight into the path of the criminal world. If his employers aren't going to embrace his talents then he will find someone who will.

Harper makes some intriguing points in this urban crime series. The way class structure works in a discriminatory way towards everyone below the upper and middle upper class. When there is no realistic option to rise to the top for said lower classes does that equal a valid excuse to take the road into criminal activity, or rather do they think it does?

It's an urban crime story with determined and driven characters. Harper keeps his characters realistic and down-to-earth, whilst giving the reader a gritty plot.

Buy Silent Money at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Matador; pub date 28 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Love's Long Road by G.D. Harper

Friday, 18 October 2019

#BlogTour The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox.

About the Author
Hester Fox lives near Salem, the location of the historical Salem witch trials. She is a keen painter and has a masters degree in historical archaeology, as well as a background in Medieval studies and art history.

Follow @HesterBFox on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit hesterfox.comBuy The Widow of Pale Harbour

About the book
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbour from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that hunt him after his wife's death, so he takes a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbour.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives in the decaying Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a madman inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbour will suffer a fate worthy of Poe's darkest tales.

Gabriel Stone is a man with many secrets. The kind of secrets that can destroy the life he is intent on carving out for himself in the community of Pale Harbour. Perhaps that is why he connects instantly with Sophronia Carver - a woman with secrets.

She has become the target of malicious rumours and a concentrated effort to malign her character and to scare her. Is she a witch? Did she have something to do with her husband's demise? Is someone in her inner circle guilty of the worst betrayal?

Gabriel is surprised when rumours and reputation don't line up with his personal experience and encounters with Sophronia. What is it about this woman that evokes such negative reactions and has set someone on a murderous course of action?

Fox uses the works and myth of Poe to insert a macabre and gothic vibe to the story. Each moment of fear or horror is woven through the fabric of his work. Although this isn't a new angle per se, I liked the idea of a perpetrator who is influenced by the words of an author, but in a historical context, ergo not a modern era. Nowadays criminals are allegedly influenced by what they watch, read and play, which is a common theme to us. Taking that perspective on criminality, and perhaps even accountability, and creating the same kind of stepping stone was interesting.

It's mystery, murder and crime, a psychological thriller in a historical setting. Fox balances romances, fear and mystery meticulously to create a gripping read.

Buy The Widow of Pale Harbour at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 17 Oct. 2019.Paperback £7.99 - Available in eBook and Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

#PaperbackPublicationDay The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth

It's the Paperback Release Day for The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth. To celebrate Paperback Publication Day you can win a copy of The Rival courtesy of Quercus Books!

To win a copy of The Rival just click this link to retweet and follow @charduck @QuercusBooks!

The Rival is an incredibly powerful novel. Let me just say that although it fits into the genre of psychological thriller it is also in its own way an empowering piece of women's fiction and a reminder to pay more attention to the people around us.
About the Author
Charlotte Duckworth is a graduate of the Faber Academy’s acclaimed six-month ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She studied Classics at Leeds University and then completed a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism. For the past 15 years she has worked as an interiors and lifestyle journalist, writing for a wide range of consumer magazines and websites. In 2011, she completed a postgraduate diploma in Screenwriting from London College of Communication. She lives in Surrey with her partner and young daughter.

Follow @charduck @Quercusbooks on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit charlotteduckworth.comBuy The Rival

About the book
Living in her home in the countryside Helena is a career woman without a job and a mother without a baby. She blames Ashley for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley's fault?

When Helena hires Ashley to work with her, she's startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud -maybe this is the protégé she's always wanted to have? But soon Helena realises that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley's drive to get to the top. And when Helena discovers she is pregnant, she quickly realises how vulnerable her position is, with devastating consequences.

The Rival is an addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry, mental health and motherhood and how far you'd ever go to get what you want.

The reader is taken from the present to past and vice versa, as we meet Helena and her ambitious co-worker Ash. In the past Helena doesn't notice how Ash is encroaching on her terrain until it is too late to do anything about it. In the present the intelligent career woman has been reduced to a blubbering mess incapable of coping with life in general. Her job and career have disintegrated, and the house is now no longer filled with the sounds and smells of a baby.

Even when one takes the archaic patriarchal system into consideration and the fact there is still inequality between men and women, I still stand by the fact that women are often the greatest opposition to other women. The situation between Ash and Helena is an example of the way women think they should achieve and get rid of the competition in the workplace. Ash does what a lot of women do, especially in the world of business, she believes she has to be one of the men to succeed. Treating pregnant colleagues with disdain, judging their appearance instead of their professional capabilities, and being completely ruthless to get ahead.

Regardless of which aspect of this story you look at or connect with, it all comes back to support. The majority of us need support at some time or other during our lives, but I think the support women sometimes need is at the forefront of this read.

Motherhood is a topic that causes a lot of controversy, especially between women. Women who choose not to have children sneer at women who do, women who have children think childless women are missing out and aren't complete women. Women who have c-sections are told they aren't real mothers because only vaginal births count. Stay-at-home mothers are called lazy by career mothers, and career mothers are called neglectful by stay-at-home mothers. The author begins her story with a simple anonymous quote - Every mother is a working mother - and that is the truth. The above mentioned controversial and often hotly debated topics are just a few examples of how we degrade, demean and bring each other down instead of supporting and raising each other up.

This story is meticulously plotted, it doesn't go in the direction you think it will and ultimately doesn't focus on the element of the plot you think it might.I don't want to reveal the twist in the plot, although I would love to talk about the ending. Kudos to the author for highlighting the issues. It's an incredibly powerful and well thought out debut by Duckworth and I can't wait to read what she comes up with next.

Let me just say that although it fits into the genre of psychological thriller it is also in its own way an empowering piece of women's fiction and a reminder to pay more attention to the people around us.

Buy The Rival at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Quercus Books, Paperback pub date: 17 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung

It takes a talented scribe to write about mathematics and keep non-maths enthusiasts captivated. Luckily Chung does so quite successfully by weaving the facts with the fiction and the complex theories of mathematics. Chung manages to take the world of numbers and meld it perfectly with history, and with the turmoil of emotions we humans bring to the table.

In essence this a story about a woman achieving recognition in a man's world and simultaneously about Katherine discovering her true past and heritage. Even in the face of pure talent the majority of her peers and tutors refuse to acknowledge said talent, which leads to betrayal, disappointment and defines her path in life.

Without giving too much of the plot away, there is a moment in this story, which is filled with gender inequality, misogyny and oppression of intelligent women and women in general, when the betrayal comes from someone who knows firsthand how hard it is to succeed as a woman in a patriarchal society. I think this moment is one of the most poignant, because Katherine bows down and accepts the oppression out of a false sense of loyalty towards a fellow woman.

In a way the fate of her parents becomes like one of the unsolved mathematical problems. Riemann's hypothesis becomes a metaphor for the unsolved mystery of Katherine's parents.

It's historical fiction, women's fiction and a mystery to boot. Chung wades through oppression and ventures into empowerment, whilst weaving in and out of the secrets of the past.

Buy The Tenth Muse at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group - ebook pub date June 2019 - Hardback pub date 7 November 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow @chung_catherine on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit catherinechung.com

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

#BlogTour Reach For a Star by Kathryn Freeman

Today it's  my turn on the BlogTour Reach For a Star by Kathryn Freeman.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (Open INT)

About the Author
A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn't always about hearts and flowers - and heroes come in many disguises.

Follow @KathrynFreeman1 on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreadson Amazon,  kathrynfreeman.co.uk, Buy Reach For a Star

About the book
What if your dreams were so close you could reach out and touch them?
How could anyone resist Michael Tennant, with his hypnotic blue eyes and voice like molten chocolate? Jessie Simmons certainly can’t. But Jessie’s a single mum who can’t sing to save her life – there’s no way she’ll ever cross paths with the star tenor.

At least that’s what she thinks until she’s unexpectedly invited to take part in a new reality TV show. The premise? Professional singers teach hopeless amateurs how to sing. The surprise? Jessie’s partner is none other than Michael Tennant!

As she becomes better acquainted with the man behind the voice, will Jessie find out the hard way that you should never meet your idols? Or will she get more than she bargained for?
Jessie's sons think they are doing their mother a favour by applying to a reality show. Giving her a chance to sing with her idol, the singer Michael Tennant, in front of the whole world. She may sound like a rusty pipe with drainage issues, but what's a little lack of singing talent matter in singing competition, eh?

What starts as an opportunity to meet her crush and perhaps show everyone what she is made of quickly turns into something quite unexpected. Michael likes Jessie. Is that even a scenario worth considering? The star and the single mother of two teenage boys, could it really be more than just a short blip in the exciting world of Michael?

Freeman makes an important point about the desirability of women who aren't super young and childless. Even if society, especially the patriarchal system, tries to convince women that being a mother and a caregiver also equates to being a non-sexual being. Nothing could be further from the truth. Taking care of tiny humans doesn't lessen the desire to be wanted or considered an object of desirability.

Jessie has to confront her fears and needs simultaneously, and be honest about what she wants and deserves in her life. A message the majority of us can comprehend and relate to.

It's a passionate story about love, family and romance. The normal Mom finding out love is written and spoken in the same language everywhere - no matter how rich, famous or everyday normal you or you life may be.

Buy Reach For a Star at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Choc Lit; pub date 24 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (Open INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

#PublicationDay Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen

It's Publication Day for Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen. It's a domestic noir thriller that tackles difficult topics with the realism and honesty it deserves.
About the Author
Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year and best selling author.

Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; he still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home in the Greek Islands where Owen writes.

Follow @OwenMullen6 @Bloodhoundbook on Twitter, Follow Owen Mullen on Instagramon Facebookon YoutubeAmazon Author pageGoodreads Author pageBookbub page,
Buy Deadly Harm
About the book
It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.
She thought she'd found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.

When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.

The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.

Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him. Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?
As I mentioned in my review of Mullen's Out of Silence, he has a penchant for tackling the topics of abuse, victimisation and domestic violence, as they pertain to women. Where others mansplain and fail to hit the mark, Mullen approaches said topics from the victim's perspective.

This is the follow-up to In Harm's Way, which also features DS Geddes and Mackenzie. The story starts with two women burying a body then the reader gets swooped up into the world Mackenzie  inhabits now. She runs a refuge for abused women. Geddes gets in touch with her to try and convince a young woman to leave her abusive husband, which is where the story actually does start. 

I have to be honest I got so wrapped up in the story that I completely forgot about anyone burying a body. (The story does return to that moment)

Fear lives on...

No truer words can be spoken when it comes to domestic violence. Even if someone does manage to extricate themselves from a domestic violence situation it doesn't mean the fear magically disappears. It doesn't, partly because victims comprehend the very harsh and real fact that society and the rule of law has not built in enough measures to keep victims safe. That is just the stone cold truth.

The reality of escaping is a financial and emotional imbalance created by society and the perpetrator. The victim can only be safe if they leave everything behind and start afresh. It sounds so easy to anyone not in that situation. It isn't, and it is part of the reason victims find it so hard to leave. There isn't sufficient support to stay safe or start anew.

It's a domestic noir thriller that tackles difficult topics with the realism and honesty it deserves. Just one more thing, I have to give a shout out to my favourite character, Grandpa Boyle. Don't ever mess with his Liquorice Allsorts - ever.

Buy Deadly Harm at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bloodhound Books; pub date 15 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Out of Silence by Owen Mullen

Monday, 14 October 2019

#BlogTour Doing Time by Jodi Taylor

Today it's the start of the BlogTour Doing Time by Jodi Taylor.
About the Author
Jodi Taylor is the internationally bestselling author of the Chronicles of St Mary's series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone individuals who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel!

Born in Bristol and now living in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), she spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and write a novel. Nearly twenty books later, she still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

Follow @JodiTaylorBooks on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit jodi-taylor.com, Buy Doing Time

About the book
Introducing The Time Police, the brand-new series by international bestselling author, Jodi Taylor - an irresistible spinoff from the much-loved Chronicles of St Mary’s series. Perfect reading for fans of Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde.

A long time ago in the future, the secret of time travel became known to all. Everyone seized the opportunity - and the world nearly ended. There will always be idiots who want to change history. And so, the Time Police were formed. An all-powerful, international organisation tasked with keeping the timeline straight. At all costs. Their success is legendary, and the Time Wars are over. But now the Time Police must fight to save a very different future - their own.

This is the story of Jane, Luke and Matthew - arguably the worst recruits in Time Police history. Or, very possibly, three young people who might just change everything.

For me this had a very specific brand of humour. The kind of dry humour that's in Hot Fuzz and The World's End (someone in my household has a thing for Simon Pegg comedies atm). It sometimes flies over the head, because it is subtle or people just don't get the snark.

The Time Police are sent back into time to keep timelines straight and to ensure that history isn't changed or thrown off-track. They are sent to stop time-criminals and to intervene before the worst case scenario happens.

The Time Police have a serious job to do, and yet our special team is newly qualified and perhaps more of a pain in the butt to the powers that be than said powers will admit. One gets the feeling they are not only expecting them to mess up, but are actually hoping they end up causing a catastrophe.
In particular Luke's father hopes he makes his mark and grows up a bit, and yet simultaneously he expects him to fail.

It's science-fiction, a futuristic time-challenging premise that can be read by both young and older readers. It's straightforward, filled with a slapstick and snarky kind of humour. It would have been interesting to wade into the dangers and perhaps even merits of playing with time. Saying that, I think Taylor likes to give readers a lighthearted, easy and amusing read, which is indeed the case.

Buy Doing Time at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in Hardback by Headline 17 October 2019 - Hardback - £18.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

#BlogTour Cage by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Cage, the last part of the Reykjavik Noir Trilogy, by Lilja Sigurdardóttir.
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, including Snare and Trap, the first two books in the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Follow @lilja1972 on Twitter, on Goodreads,  Visit liljawriter.com

About the book
A masterful conclusion to the award-winning, critically acclaimed Reykjavík Noir trilogy, as drug-smuggling, financial crime, political intrigue, love, murder and betrayal come together.

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence for financial misconduct ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her. As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed. Ruthless entrepreneur Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. And at the same time, a deadly threat to Sonja and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive…

The lives of these characters are about to collide in a shocking crescendo, until the winner takes it all…

Cage can be read as a standalone novel, although I would suggest reading the previous two books in this trilogy, Trap and Snare, to get the full gist of the series. Whilst the majority of the two previous books in this trilogy focus on the character of Sonja, especially Snare, this one sees Agla and Maria take more of a centre stage.

Although the vibe of this book is perhaps slightly less ruthless, there is just as much wheeling, dealing and criminal activity. Agla is still wanted for her talents in corporate and financial crime, although I think it's fair to say Agla's relationship with Sonja and her stint in prison have changed her outlook on life.

It's interesting how Sonja has morphed, during the duration of the trilogy, into the person her nemesis wanted her to be. She has become more brusque and ruthless or is it just her willingness to do anything she can to save her family and herself? To do that she has to make some uncomfortable decisions, which include her relationship with Agla.

It's Scandinavian Noir, a corporate, financial and urban crime trilogy with feisty, but not necessarily sympathetic characters. Sigurdardóttir brings this series to a strangely comforting conclusion, perhaps not the one some readers may have expected, given how harsh some of the scenarios have been, but a conclusion nonetheless.

This author has a talent for bringing the underbelly of crime as it pertains to the small fish and those without sociopathic tendencies to the table. The result is the kind of crime read that is as unpredictable and at times as dark and unforgiving as crime itself.

Buy Cage at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; Publication Date: 17 October 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Orenda.

Read my reviews of Snare and Trap by Lilja

#BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry

Today it's my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry.

About the Author
Liz Mistry has signed a three book deal for a new series with HQ Digital, a Harper Collins imprint. The first in the series is Last Request, which will be released in October 2019. It features a feisty mixed-race DS called Nikki Parekh and is set in Bradford.

Follow @LizMistryAuthor on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.com, Buy Last Request

About the book
When human remains are discovered under Bradford’s derelict Odeon car park, DS Nikita Parekh and her team are immediately called to the scene.

Distracted by keeping her young nephew out of trouble, Nikki is relieved to learn the investigation has been transferred to the Cold Case Unit, and she can finally focus on her family.

But when the identity of the victim is revealed, she’s soon drawn back into the case. The dead man is a direct link to her painful past.

As the body count begins to rise, Nikki must do everything she can to stop the killer in their tracks before anyone else gets hurt – even if it means digging up secrets she had long kept hidden…

This is the first in a new crime series by Mistry. Her main character DS Nikita Parekh pulls no punches and is a determined fighter for her family, herself and for the victims she encounters. She is torn between family loyalty and problems, and her career. At times she is like a demented ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth from one thing to the other.

Kudos to Mistry for bringing an important point to the table about the lack of awareness the wealthy or any social class above the working class, especially those living in poverty, have when it comes to living a daily struggle. If you have never lived from payday to payday, struggled to feed yourself and loved ones or as in this case, had to face the miscreants of society on a daily basis - then you have no business judging those people or have the right to a sanctimonious opinion.

DS Nikita Parekh and her family have to deal with these kind of situations on a daily basis. It's a dog eat dog world and she struggles to keep her loved ones out of the clutches of the type of criminals who think nothing of maiming and disfiguring kids and young people.

To make matters worse her the majority of her colleagues treat her with disdain, especially when she becomes the main suspect in a murder case.

It's a fast-paced urban crime series with a strong female lead. Mistry doesn't shy away from uncomfortable truths our society has to deal with. The way she melds fact, fiction and realism results in a gripping read.

Buy Last Request at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 16 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

#BlogTour Call Me Maybe by Steph Chapman

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Call Me Maybe by Steph Chapman.
About the Author
Stephie was born in England in the mid 1980s, which makes her thirty-something (but if you ask, she'll probably tell you she's 27). Now, she lives on the South coast of the UK, has a day job to keep her holiday budget topped up, and two kids and a husband to keep an eye on.

Getting Over Jesse Franklin and Jetplanes to Jupiter were born out of a healthy appreciation of bass guitars (and the dudes who play them), and Franko was very much inspired by her favourite band as a teenager. So now you know.

Follow @imcountingufoz on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit stephiechapman.wordpress.com, Buy Call Me Maybe

About the book
What if you got a second chance with your first love?
What happens when you meet your teenage heart-throb – when you’re both all grown up? When Cassie was fifteen, all she wanted was to marry Jesse Franklin, the bassist from her favourite band, Franko. Now she’s single, in her late twenties and wondering what happened to that teenage dream.
A chance encounter on Facebook soon leads to a transatlantic hook up, and soon, Jesse and Cassie are having a long-distance love affair spanning five thousand miles.

Cassie is on cloud nine – until she hears something that makes her think that Jessie might not be all that he seems. They say never meet your heroes – but what happens when you fall in love with them…?

Are Cassie and Jessie star crossed lovers, destined to be together? Or should Cassie have left her crush in the box marked teenage memories?

I can imagine this is somewhat of a dream scenario for some people. Could you even imagine meeting a celeb you had a massive crush on as a teenager and then having a relationship with them? I'd just like to point out that mine would be all wrinkly now.

In the blurb it says what if you got a second chance with your first love, but that isn't really the premise of this story. Having a crush, even a really obsessive strong emotional swoony crush on a celebrity or some unattainable person in the public eye, is not the same as your first love.

It made me wonder whether I would want to meet a teenage crush (if I can remember that far back), thereby possibly destroying the myth and the magic. Clearly Cassie doesn't have the same fears, and she does have concerns that she might come across as a crazy stalker fan.

When Jesse replies to Cassie she just can't believe it and she definitely isn't expecting them to click and end up meeting in person. Is this meant to be or is it all too good to be true?

It's a romcom - a dream come true scenario for some. Chapman has used modern media, text message exchanges, instead of dialogue per se, which gives the story even more of a contemporary vibe. The dialogue and writing is also very much in tune with a YA book. It's easy to forget that the main characters are late twenties and older, because their exchanges are very similar to people in their late teens and early twenties. This is an easy and fun read.

Buy Call Me Maybe at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Hera; pub date 9 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Kobo.

#BlogTour Brando's Bride by Sarah Broughton

It's my turn on the BlogTour Brando's Bride by Sarah Broughton.
About the Author
Sarah Broughton was born in London, lives in Cardiff and is the Creative Director of Martha Stone Productions.

She has written a novel, 'Other Useful Numbers', and a non-fiction book about the mysterious first wife of Marlon Brando, 'Brando's Bride'. Both are published by Parthian Books.

She can be found on twitter @sjbroughton124Buy Brando's Bride

About the book
In October 1957 Marlon Brando married a young studio actress called Anna Kashfi. He was thirty-three and at the pinnacle of his beautiful fame having recently won an Oscar for On the Waterfront. The wedding was front-page news around the world. His new bride was twenty-three, claimed to be an Indian princess and was pregnant. The day after the wedding a factory worker living in Wales, William O'Callaghan, revealed that Brando's bride was in fact his daughter, Joan O'Callaghan and had been a butcher's assistant from Cardiff. This book sets out to discover who was telling the truth and who was lying - and, perhaps more importantly, why?

I think if this happened in the 21st century there would be a better understanding of why Anna, her parents and Marlon reacted the way they did. In general there is more information and clarification about the stigma and racism, which is why Anna's story imploded the way it did.

Her parents were eager to hide behind their initial lies, because they didn't want to be rejected by society. That rejection must have appeared to be a far worse fate than the disowning their daughter. The same could be said for Anna of course, who was left to her own devices after the studio helped her to build a story around her Anna Kashfi Anglo-Indian persona.

Then there is Marlon Brando - a man already convinced and consumed by his massive aura and ego. The fact his feeling of embarrassment was more important than his relationship with Anna frankly says a lot more about him than he probably would like people to know.

I think it is fair to say he was enamoured by the idea that the world knew Brando the great had an exotic woman on his arm. In a way his choices in women were more than just being attracted to a certain type of woman. It was about cementing his image as an activist in the civil rights and for the Native American movements.

Anna came from a world and a time in history when reinventing yourself by becoming bog standard white, English and Anglican was a choice made to protect, as opposed to trying to deceive.

It's a well-researched biography, which Broughton approaches with empathy and respect. She gives Anna a voice - a voice she needed many decades ago. Not a piece written by those willing to feed the readers hungry for gossip and wanting to disparage someone. A voice speaking for the women who were used by the film industry as examples of exotic beauty, and then cast aside when they became too troublesome or threatened to bring scandals to their doors.

Buy Brando's Bride at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Parthian Books; pub date 1 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Parthian Books.

Friday, 11 October 2019

#BlogTour Too Early For Death by Simon Farrant

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Too Early for Death by Simon Farrant.
About the Author
I am an emerging author, a submission to a short story anthology kicked it all off. Black Cat is my first short story, and the hero isn’t maybe who you would assume.

Originally from Doncaster, South Yorkshire and now Corby in Northants. I’m in my forties, married with three children. We share our home with a Bengal cat and a Pink Tongued Skink.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had an interesting (well to me!) life. I have been a truck driver, university graduate and motorbike salesman amongst other things.

My two novellas, Newdon Killers series, The Crucifix and Famously Ordinary are out now! The third book, Death Dolls is coming soon estimated launch date 22 August. Later this year a new series in a different genre Mystery / contemporary fantasy will be published.
I have a Facebook page, Simon Farrant Official, I'd be pleased to see you there.
Follow me on Twitter - @asfarrant

I also have a newsletter. Sign up to receive the latest news first :)

About the book
Death can take you to the most unexpected places.

Damien Lennon finds himself on a mysterious island… and dead.
He has more questions than answers. Why? Where? How? What next?
In a place where forests hide secrets and a leader rules with an iron fist, can Damien change his destiny?

'Too Early for Death' starts a journey through the Limbo Island trilogy, a series that unravels a story of life after death, hierarchy, tragedy, jealousy and eternal love. A heartbreaking yet heartwarming adventure awaits.

They are just an ordinary family on a day trip to the museum. None of them have any idea that the trip will change their lives forever, because one of them disappears into thin air during the visit. A mysterious door leads Damien to a world beyond everything he knows to be true. As he searches desperately for the door that leads back to his wife and son, he slowly realises that there is more going on than meets the eye.

This isn't a case of parallel worlds or a very realistic dream. Time doesn't travel at the same speed, but he is unaware of that and also of his status. Meanwhile his family struggles with the mystery of his disappearance and the finality of his not being around to complete their family. They have to carve out a new existence for themselves, despite not having an explanation.

It's speculative fiction, perhaps even magical realism. A premise that questions whether death is fate, choice or chance. Farrant presents Damien as a man who hasn't followed the rules and ended up on Limbo Island due to his choices, which suggests we have some kind of control over our death and when it happens.

Having read Death Dolls by Farrant I found this one had a more simplistic writing style, perhaps to make it more accessible to a larger group of readers. It was less complex, despite the fantastical concept.

Buy Too Early for Death at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Farrant Fiction; pub date 6 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Death Dolls by Simon Farrant

Buy Death Dolls (Newdon Killers #3) at Amazon Uk
Buy The Crucifix (Newdon Killers #1)
Buy Famously Ordinary (Newdon Killers #2)