Sunday, 24 May 2020

#BlogBlitz A Good Demon is Hard to Find by Kate Moseman


Today it's my turn on the Blog Blitz A Good Demon is Hard to Find by Kate Moseman.

About the Author
Kate Moseman is a writer, photographer, and recipe developer who lives in Florida with her family and enjoys going to theme parks as frequently as possible.

Follow @KateMoseman on Twitteron Instagramon Pintereston Facebook, on Amazonon Goodreads,Visit katemoseman.com, Buy A Good Demon is Hard to Find


About the book
Sometimes, a date from hell is just what you need...
When Erin thoughtlessly lays a curse on Mark, her cheating ex-husband, she doesn’t expect a well-dressed Great Earl of Hell to show up in her kitchen to fulfill the curse (and make damn good coffee while he’s at it).

Andromalius specializes in wickedness and revenge. He’s ready, willing, and able to rain down hell on Erin’s ex—but when Mark announces a hasty new marriage, Erin needs more than just revenge. She needs a date to the wedding.

Review
Erin is a woman scorned. A woman filled with pain, hatred and disappointment. Her life has been turned upside down and she has been betrayed. Her ex-husband Mark isn't satisfied with getting what he wanted, he also wants her to fade away so nobody remembers his transgressions.

She accidentally conjures up a demon who is willing to take care of her problem or perhaps just annoy him a little, but the demon isn't exactly what it says on the box.

I'm not sure Andy the demon fits the usual stereotype everyone is used to. He is kind, considerate, likes to take care of people and makes a darn good cup of coffee. Erin finds herself so distracted by the demon that suddenly the distressing events that fill her head are no longer as important as they were before he turned up.

It's an entertaining paranormal romance. Moseman combines the paranormal with the humour of a  romcom.

Although the story never gets too serious there is actually a nice little message hidden inside. There is always a way forward even when things look dire and feel incredibly painful, and giving away energy to things you cannot change is a waste of time.

It's lighthearted escapism and a fun read.

The second book in the series, A Witch's Work Is Never Done is due to be released in October of this year.

Buy A Good Demon is Hard to Find (Supernatural Sweethearts #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

#BlogTour The Goodbye Man by Jeffery Deaver


Today it's a pleasure to take part on the last day of the BlogTour The Goodbye man by Jeffery Deaver.
About the Author
Jeffery Deaver is the No.1 international bestselling author of more than thirty novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme,The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He's received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world.

A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, he was born outside of Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University. You can visit his website at www.JefferyDeaver.com

Follow @jefferydeaver on Twitter, on Goodreads, on AmazonBuy The Goodbye Man


About the book
In pursuit of two young men accused of terrible hate crimes, Colter Shaw stumbles upon a clue to another mystery. In an effort to save the life of a young woman—and possibly others—he travels to the wilderness of Washington State to investigate a mysterious organization. Is it a community that consoles the bereaved? Or a dangerous cult under the sway of a captivating leader?

As he peels back the layers of truth, Shaw finds that some people will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden. All the while, Shaw must unravel an equally deadly enigma: locating and deciphering a message hidden by his father years ago, just before his death—a message that will have life-and-death consequences.

Review
This is the second book in the Colter Shaw series and I am sure this character is destined to be a fan favourite. Colter is a man moulded by a father who wanted his children to be prepared for any eventuality, but not the sort of event you would expect someone to encounter. We are talking survivalist with an emphasis on being able to escape any situation and be able fight any opponent. Prepared for killers and catastrophes.

Colter puts those skills to good use when he is drawn into the world of a mysterious commune. He wants to find out how they are connected to the last case he was on. Something left him with a gut feeling that the community in the middle of the woods is something more than a sanctuary.

It's a thriller with a main character who sniffs out crime and injustice like a bloodhound.

We live in a world that panders to cults, because they are either linked to religious zealotry or so financially powerful that they can't be stopped in their tracks.They use their hierarchies, gaslighting and psychological manipulation to either completely brainwash their members or followers, or they bully them into submission. Fear is a strong control technique.

The majority of them have one thing in common - megalomaniacs at the top. Sexual deviancy, abuse and money is a common factor.I include TV evangelists in that category, they are nothing but con artists with swift lips.

What Deaver portrays really well is the way Colton reveals part of his true feelings, whilst trying to stay undercover. The victims are often more vulnerable if they have experienced past trauma.

It's a fascinating read, despite the fact it is more of a thriller. The minutiae of Colton evaluating his surroundings, calculating his chances and the way the author presents a scene and then goes back and gives us the same scene from a different angle, is excellent. Deaver is a true craftsman when it comes to writing.

Buy The Goodbye Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins: pub date 14th May 2020 | HB | £16.99. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.

Friday, 22 May 2020

#BlogTour When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby


Today it's the last day, but a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour When We Fall By Carolyn Kirby.

Based on the Katyn massacre of 1940, When We Fall is a moving historical novel of three lives forever altered by one fatal choice.

Carolyn Kirby - 'All of the victims of the Katyn massacre were men, except, remarkably, for one woman. And when I discovered that this woman, Janina Lewandowska, was a pilot, I knew that the Polish experience would become the heart of my novel… The story I tell is fiction, but it is one that I could not have begun to imagine without the remarkable life and death of Janina Lewandowska'

April - May 2020 marks 80 years since the Katyn massacre and 10th April 2020 also marks the 10th anniversary of the airline crash that killed top Polish dignitaries on their way to Russia to commemorate the atrocity.
About the Author
Carolyn Kirby is the author of The Conviction of Cora Burns which was longlisted for the Historical Writers’Association Debut Crown Award.

Before being a full-time writer, Carolyn worked in social housing and as a teacher. She has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in Oxfordshire.

Follow @novelcarolyn on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit Carolynkirby.com, Buy When We Fall


About the book
England, 1943. Lost in fog, Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Vee Katchatourian is forced to make an emergency landing where she meets enigmatic RAF airman Stefan Bergel, and then can’t get him out of her mind.

In occupied Poland, Ewa Hartman hosts German officers in her father’s guest house, while secretly gathering intelligence for the Polish resistance. Mourning her lover, Stefan, who was captured by the
Soviets at the start of the war, Ewa is shocked to see him on the street one day.

Haunted by a terrible choice he made in captivity, Stefan asks Vee and Ewa to help him expose one of the darkest secrets of the war. But it is not clear where everyone’s loyalties lie until they are tested.

Review
This is the story of Ewa, Vee and Stefan. Three people doing their part to win and survive the war, and reveal the dark secrets that have been hidden and used to fuel the anger towards the enemy.

Ewa is adjusting to her hometown being occupied by the Germans. She has been waiting for news from her lover, a prisoner of war courtesy of the Soviets. Vee is doing her part as a pilot for the Air Transport Auxiliary, and both women know Stefan Bergel. Stefan is a man scarred by his years as a prisoner and determined to make sure the world knows what happened to his comrades and who is responsible.

The propaganda machine of the Soviets was a very effective tool, as is the Russian one now, even in the 1940s. They didn't acknowledge or confirm their responsibility for the Katyn massacre until 1990. Instead they hid their atrocities alongside those of the Nazi regime - in plain sight. The NKVD were responsible for the deaths or rather executions of 22000 Polish military officers, police officers and intelligentisa. They were killed in a series of mass executions.

Polish intelligentsia were people arbitrarily identified as intelligence officers and imprisoned. I say arbitrarily, but they were men who held important positions in their communities. According to historians Stalin wanted to ensure any future Polish military power would struggle, due to a lack of leaders and talent. Sounds so rational and cold.

It's historical war fiction based on the true events of the Katyn massacre.

In a way Kirby shows us how so many lives became connected for the greater good and simultaneously also through unfathomable trauma. Bonds and tethers that remain throughout the years, regardless of which side they were on. This is what makes the ending of the book so perfectly imperfect.

It's another riveting read from Kirby.

Buy When We Fall at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: No Exit Press | pub date 7th May 2020 | Demy Paperback Original with flaps | eBook also available | £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby.

#BlogTour The Woman in the Painting by Kerry Postle


Today it's my turn and the last stop on the BlogTour The Woman in the Painting by Kerry Postle.

About the Author
Kerry loves art, history and literature. In her debut novel, 'The Artist's Muse', she explores the artist Egon Schiele's relationship with his model Wally Neuzil and shows that it isn't only Schiele's paintings of Wally that shimmer and shock.

Kerry's second novel, 'A Forbidden Love', is set during the Spanish Civil War and tells a rousing and ultimately uplifting story: that when war has taken everything away from us we are still left with our humanity.

With the author's third novel, 'The Woman in the Painting', she returns to the world of art. Set in Rome at the start of the 16th century the author shares with us the heartbreaking story behind the artist Raphael's portrait of his lover, Margarita Luti. Known as 'The Baker's Daughter', this portrait hides a secret...

For more about Kerry Postle visit http://frockfriday.co.uk/. For links to the paintings and literature that inspired her first novel go to https://theartistsmuseblog.wordpress.com

Follow @kerry_postle on Twitteron Goodreads, on AmazonBuy The Woman in the Painting
About the book
A celebrated artist. A baker’s daughter. A love that will change everything. 1508. In Rome, artists are feted as gods, and women must know their place.

Margarita may be the modest daughter of a baker, but when she falls in love with painter Raphael she finds herself playing a dangerous game.

For Raphael is wanted for greater things than a humble marriage, and there are those who will do anything to keep him and Margarita apart – no matter the consequences…

Review
Pietro is an interesting narrator, perhaps because it is hard to feel any empathy towards him - at least for the majority of the story. He is a target because of his sexual preferences, his family pretends he doesn't exist and he is usually one step away from complete destitution.

Now all of those things might make the audience feel sympathy towards him now and again. Poor Pietro with the speech impediment, everyone makes fun of him. Poor Pietro indeed. One wonders if he spent time polishing his thirty pieces of silver.

His love and obsession play a pivotal part in the story of Margarita, the lowborn daughter of a baker who refuses to be bought or sold like chattel. She becomes the object of inspiration for some of the most well-known painters of Italian Renaissance. Men creating works of art which still inspire and captivate the world many centuries after creation.

It's historical fiction inspired by a true story. A tale of art, passion, love, but most of all it is a story of deceit.

I really enjoyed the way Postle never veered from Pietro, his point of view and ultimately his influence over the events. It doesn't merely become a tragic tryst and battle of passionate endeavours or about navigating the egocentric and narcissistic traits of the most powerful. When you break it down it is about the subtle whispers spoken in rage or jealousy, and remaining silent and doing nothing when you should step in to change to the tide of opinion.

It's an exceptional and well crafted story.

Buy The Woman in the Painting at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 22 May 2020. Buy at Amazon com.


#BlogTour The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman


It is an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman.
About the Author
Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years' travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. The Secrets of Strangers is her sixth novel.

Follow @charitynorman1 on Twitter, on Amazonon GoodreadsBuy The Secrets of Strangers


About the book
A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café - their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage.

But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?

Review
Wrong place, wrong time. I bet that's what the majority of the people who end up in the middle of  hostage a situation think. Luck of the draw. Sam doesn't seem to mind whether he frightens children, pregnant women or about crossing the line between threat and death.

The way Norman has woven the threads of coercive abuse, violence and desperation together to create an emotionally charged read is quite remarkable. There is no black or white, but rather a pyramid of greyish areas.

There is a scene between Mutesi and Neil that I found incredibly poignant. In the cafe we have the new norm and status quo of the nurse or carer and the homeless man. She thinks nothing of reaching out to help him and he is grateful for those stolen moments in his bleak life.

When Mutesi speaks of her turbulent past - a life filled with horrors we will never be able to comprehend or imagine, the status quo shifts. As she speaks and he tries to wave away the images her memories conjure up, in an attempt to protect himself and others and diminish her experiences, he reverts to the white man of privilege. She in turn is expected to acknowledge her status as the black woman expected to bear the systemic oppression of her race, and in this case also her tribe, and be silenced by him. So subtly done - point made.

Then the comparison of abuse and blame when it comes to Sam and his stepfather, and Sam and his girlfriend. The assumption that being a victim automatically means you could not possibly be a perpetrator too.

I think what I will take away from this book is that everyone has a story and none of us know what each individual has dealt with or is dealing with at any given time. It's important to keep that in mind when we interact and communicate - no matter how briefly that may be. It doesn't excuse Sam's actions, but it does put them into perspective.

It's an excellent read - absolutely food for thought.

Buy The Secrets of Strangers at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Allen and Unwin; pub date Paperback Original | 7th May 2020 | £8.99.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

#BlogBlitz Winter's Gift by Florence Keeling


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Winter's Gift by Florence Keeling.

About the Author
Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother's name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool's Day.  She is married with two teenage children.  Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton.  Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

Follow @KellingFlorence on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, on Amazon, on GoodreadsBuy Winter's Gift


About the book
Bea Winters is in desperate need of a fresh start. Being bullied at work is not her idea of fun and she longs to follow her dream of becoming a published author. When an advert appears in her local paper to work in a publishing house in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale, it sounds too good to be true.

She strikes up an instant friendship with gorgeous aspiring author, Eddie Richards and her dashing millionaire boss Scott Summers. But all isn’t as it seems in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale.

How does the local clairvoyant know her name? Who does the little black dog that keeps appearing belong to and why does she keep bumping into the mysterious Charlie?

As she starts to unravel the truth, it seems that everyone in Bea’s life is keeping secrets.

Review
Bea finds life a little tedious at the moment. At work she is being systematically mobbed and her dreams of being an author are going to remain a dream. Unbeknownst to Bea her luck is about to change for the better if she will let it.

The stars seem to be aligning for her, whether she wants them to or not. She gets an interview at a small publishing house in a rural area and decides to try her luck. Perhaps she can use the experience to gain a foothold in the industry and finally get her work published.

The small village of Bloomsdale comes with a good portion of handsome men, quirky characters and something odd Bea just can't put her finger on. The local alleged clairvoyant knows things she couldn't possibly know and this small dog keeps turning up everywhere Bea is.

It's a feel good story with romance and magical realism.

Although there are moments of drama and discord, in general this is a light-hearted read. Keeling infuses this story with the same kind of magical realism as her Lily Mae Walters stories. She combines the serious with laughter and the tough moments with a lot of hope. At the same time she delivers a story with a bit of mystery and perhaps even a teensy bit of magic.

Buy Winter's Gift at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing; pub date 15 Nov. 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

Click here to read more about Lily Mae Walters ( Florence Keeling)

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

#BlogTour Celeste Three is Missing by Chris Calder


Today it's my turn on the Blogtour Celeste Three is Missing by Chris Calder.
About the Author
After ten happy years of retirement in rural France, Chris Calder is back in England. He came late to writing novels, penning his first whilst incarcerated in a French hospital following cancer surgery. At the time he spoke little French. Unable to communicate effectively with the staff, he spent his time fleshing out his first novel. Five more have followed; light thrillers leavened with humour. Best of all, the cancer is now history.

Chris knows that readers of fiction expect to be diverted and entertained. He loves feedback and believes passionately that taking on board readers’ views improves what what he does. You can email him at chris@chriscalder.com. Go on, he’d love to hear from you.

Follow @CalderAuthor on Twitteron Facebook, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit chriscalder.comBuy Celeste Three is Missing


About the book
The world’s first earth-orbit passenger plane, the sensational Celeste Three, takes off from its base in Arizona, also the only place where it is designed land. On a routine flight the craft disappears.

On board is Viktor Karenkov, billionaire oil magnate who has used his wealth to evade prosecution for a murder he committed years earlier. Gregory Topozian, the murdered man’s friend, has been waiting for a chance to bring Karenkov to justice. With dogged determination and considerable ingenuity, he conceives an audacious plan.

Getting the craft down in total secrecy is key. And someone has to pay the huge costs  involved.

Review
This is the story of how one man waits patiently for the right moment in time and space to exact his revenge on a dangerous criminal for murdering his friend and destroying his business. Gregory Topozian will never forget Viktor Karenkov, although the same can't be said for Karenkov.

This is a very slowly slowly catchy monkey kind of story. Gregory waits for the perfect opportunity and starts to plan something so meticulous that even those involved don't guess the whole scam.

This is not only a revenge plot it is also a heist plot. A David Copperfield kind of heist. Now you see the Celeste and now you don't.

Although Calder bases the premise on a man who is willing to wait a long time to get his vengeance, the first few chapters and the jumps in between seem a little contradictory for someone so consumed by making a certain man pay.

It's a thriller with a futuristic vibe. When I say future, we probably aren't too far off an earth-orbit passenger plane - seats only affordable if you are incredibly rich of course. The peasants will still be taking the bus and the train.
The story of Gregory veers offside a little as the sub-plot of the pilot runs alongside and juggles with Gregory for the role of main protagonist. In fact his past and emotional turmoil play a major role.

I liked the heist premise, the ideas are creative but the story in general needed tightening up a bit.

Buy Celeste Three is Missing at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Heddon Publishing; pub date 12 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.