Thursday 25 June 2015

Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine

I really enjoyed this little gem of a book. I think it may strike a chord with teen and young adult readers.

It combines the complexity of a vitriolic separation, the strained relationship between mother and daughter, the rekindled relationship between father and daughter, and the mindset of an arsonist. It also shows a connection via art, and in doing so teaches the reader about the subject.

Valentine has described the mentality of a firebug to a tee. The emotions, the feeling of release, the sense of power, the fascination and the peace after the fact.

How trauma and stress makes her retreat and use the fire as a coping mechanism. In a way it is also an excellent tactic to annoy and exact revenge on those around her.

Watching the relationship between Iris and Ernest be re-built within a few days left a feeling of nostalgia and sadness. Lost time can never be regained, and in a way I feel this was the author's way of shouting out to parents in divorce situations.

The parents, who are right-fighters and use their children as weapons against the other parent. The ones who end up alienating the child from one parent. Leaving aside the fact there are certainly situations, such as abuse of any kind, where keeping a parent away from a child is perhaps in the best interest of the child.

In this story it is about control and using Iris or rather her absence, as a weapon against Ernest. Hannah is only motivated by greed, money and the need for complete and utter control. She starts playing Iris and Ernest off against each other, well at least she thinks she is. There seems to be no maternal instinct at all. In fact she as far as Hannah is concerned Iris needs to be a non-factor when it comes to Ernest.

The end is nothing less than poetic justice. Possibly the dream of every teen in similar situations.
I really liked the way Valentine was able to relate to how a teen like Iris would feel and react. A really good read.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Wednesday 24 June 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

Sandrine is a shy woman, bound by the restrictions society has laid upon her, and yet traumatic events have encouraged her to run away from those restrictions.

She feels an intimate connection to the house her grandmother has suddenly vacated.

That connection turns out to be something quite sinister and frightening.

It awakens her passion, her emotional and physical needs, and her sensuality. But is it her or is it the house?

In the blink of an eye Sandrine becomes a completely different person. A whole new personality, which doesn't go unnoticed by her grandmother. Suddenly she is daring, brave, confident and ready to discover and embrace her newly found emotions.

The literary strength of this author is definitely more evident in the amorous scenes in the books. She has a talent for the pulse quickening sensual moments, I can't fault her for those at all.

However the same can't always be said for the rest of the story. Where the sensual scenes are full of emotion, prose and enticing imagery, the surrounding story is a little less stellar. It is as if two stories are mixed into one, but one of them is a slightly amateurish fantasy with continuity errors and superfluous information, and the other is more of a romantic and erotic nature.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Swarm - A Zombie Series (Book 1) by Alex South

The ultimate nightmare, the end of the world via zombie. To make matters worse, not that it gets much worse than being eaten by zombies, it all happens within a matter of days.

Paranoia is rampant among the survivors. Is there any way to know whether someone has been nibbled, bitten or infected?

Aside from full body inspections there is no way to be certain, which means the small groups of survivors have to trust their instincts when it comes to other survivors.

There needs to be more character and plot development if South intends to create more a fast paced and tastier morsel of literary flesh. The main character needs to stand out more from the others, especially because at the moment the healthy non-bitten characters are overshadowed by the flesh eating ones.

Perhaps filling in some of the blank holes would be a good idea. Where did it start, how did it start, who was the unfortunate patient zero? Is there a way to stop the zombie apocalypse?
Obviously or hopefully some of those questions will be answered in the next book in the series.

Monday 15 June 2015

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

I would love to know whether Katarina Bivald is a bookworm, because this book seems as if it were written by a bookworm for other bookworms.

The love of books, stories and literature flows through the pages like veins through a body. Even the chapter with the book smelling. Yes, you read that correctly. Sara talks about the way books smell.

Old books smell differently than a new book, even text books, paperbacks and hardbacks have their own individual smell. Might seem odd for a non-bookworm, but hardcore b-worms will know exactly what she is talking about.

The same love of all things book is what manages to connect the inhabitants of the small town of Broken Wheel together, well it does after Sara works a little of her special magic and dreamy charm. It seems as if the old saying is correct in this instance 'people who don't read just haven't found the right book yet'

One of the funniest scenes in the book was Caroline and the book of sin. Her moving it around the house in an attempt to hide its existence from herself and others. It was really a very clever way of confronting the issue of how religion regards the topic of homosexuality.

The book becomes a symbol for her thoughts and inner dialogue on the matter. Is she wrong to judge without reading the book? If that is the case is it also wrong to judge without embracing or trying to understand? It really does throw quite a sharp stone at the glass house of Christianity. A house that preaches love and hatred in equal measures, whilst being completely blind to the hypocrisy of it all.

In the end it is a story of love and belonging. About one person, who needs this town just as much as the town needs her. They bring her out of her books and she brings them out of their ritualistic slump. A book for every person is her motto. Somewhere along the way Sara finds just a little more than just the worlds within the pages of her books.

I really enjoyed this story. It was charming, funny, sad and awkward all at the same time.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Blog Tour & Review: The Thirty List by Eva Woods

Let's start this Blog Tour for The Thirty List by Eva Woods off with a bang. To follow the tour and read what my fellow bloggers are saying about The Thirty List read Blog Tour -Thirty List to follow the links to each blog on the tour.

About the author:
Eva Woods/Claire McGowan is a writer and a lecturer. She writes contemporary women's fiction as Eva Woods and crime fiction as Claire McGowan.

She was born in Northern Ireland and now lives in London, where she writes and teaches creative writing.

According to her blog she also spends a lot of time tutting at slow people on escalators and dodging urban foxes. She likes wine, pop music, and holidays, and thinks online dating is like the worst board game ever invented.

To read more about Claire visit, visit her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter @inkstainsclaire

About The Thirty List:
Everyone has one.
That list.
The things you were supposed to do before you turn thirty.

Jobless, broke and getting a divorce, Rachel isn’t exactly living up to her own expectations. And moving into grumpy single dad Patrick’s box room is just the soggy icing on top of her dreaded thirtieth birthday cake.

Eternal list-maker Rachel has a plan – an all new set of challenges to help her get over her divorce and out into the world again – from tango dancing to sushi making to stand-up comedy.

But as Patrick helps her cross off each task, Rachel faces something even harder; learning to live – and love – without a checklist.


Welcome to the disaster called Rachel's supposedly perfect life, well at least it used to be. From the very beginning it seems as if Rachel has made hasty decisions or at least ones made in doubt. She has built an image of a perfect relationship in her head and lives it outwardly for society.

To be quite frank she needed to buck up and stop being the perpetual doormat for the people around her. Instead she goes when she is asked to leave, she gives up house and home, because hey Dan asked her to. I mean come on, really? No spunk, no fight and no disagreement at all?

Instead she has let herself be boxed into this pseudo cupboard of imaginary blame and remorse by her husband and her friends. It isn't as if she did an entire football team in the locker room. Keep it real.

So her friends suggestion of a Bucket List is exactly the right thing to get her out of the slump she has slithered into. A list full of eccentric, exotic, daring and funny challenges or tasks to complete. Things to do before you... You get the picture and might even have one yourself, I know I do.

She embarks on her tasks with her new landlord, father of one, Patrick. They have slumps in common, and that isn't all they have in common. Rachel quickly becomes part of the family, and as part-time nanny she also becomes close to Patrick's son.

Being a step-parent or parent substitute is probably one of the hardest jobs in a patchwork family. Faced with the same responsibilities and yet when it comes down to the nitty gritty you are always only the stand-in for the real parent.

Rachel cares for and looks after Alex, as if she were his mother, and yet in the direst of situations she is treated like a convenient servant. There is no empathy for her or her emotions. No comprehension of the bond she has built with the young boy. Even in that regard I found Patrick to be very lacking in compassion towards her.

I was slightly taken aback by the way Patrick reacted towards the end of the story. How very condescending of him to reach out to the ex and offer Rachel up on a pathetic platter. Sort of  'can you come and pick up your second-hand goods now.' I would have been angry if I were Rachel, I was certainly annoyed on her behalf.

The Thirty List is a tale of romance, the threading together of new families, questioning of relationships and about Rachel's discovery of self. An amusing and also painful journey, but certainly one worth reading.

Thank you to Mills & Boon and Harlequin UK for the copy of The Thirty List.
To buy The Thirty List go to Amazon UK or Goodreads for other store links.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Quite a fascinating post-apocalyptic tale, set in a near future realistic scenario. The way Mandel has created a type of spider web of characters in an almost TV show like scenario.

The world as we know it has been reduced to a pre-technology, pre-electricity and pre-internet time. The population has been reduced to a minimum.

Survival has become a thing of the most ruthless, the fittest, and the ones willing to do anything to live a day longer.

The whole plot is set around and connected via one individual. Not the main character, but rather someone most of the characters, who play major roles in the story, have been in contact with. I thought it was an interesting way to go about it. A kind of six degrees of separation via one person.

To be completely frank, I thought the beginning was a wee it confusing, so much so I wasn't sure where Mandel was taking it at all. Even when it became evident that it was going the apocalyptic route I still didn't quite get why Mandel kept coming back to Arthur and Co.

I really enjoyed the idea of the Symphony.What a wonderful grand gesture of hope in an otherwise desolate world. A travelling company of musical artists and performers of Shakespearean plays. Art as a beacon of light and home comforts of a forgotten world.

Certainly a different way of going about it, and although it reminded me slightly of Revolution, it was a good read.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Thursday 11 June 2015

Blog Tour - The Thirty List by Eva Woods

On Monday the 15th of June it will be my turn to host the Blog Tour 'The Thirty List' by Eva Woods 

15th June

here and

16th of June

17th of June

18th of June

19th of June

20th of June

21st of June

Join me on the 15th to read all about The Thirty List by Eva Woods

Wednesday 10 June 2015

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

As far as I am concerned this is definitely a book I would buy for a younger or older reader, who likes fantasy and witchcraft.

I think people often forget, although YA means young adult, the books in this genre are also marketed towards teens.

Is this a compelling read for younger readers and older teens? Absolutely. Will a young adult want slightly more from the read? Perhaps.

Elizabeth is part of a handpicked elitist troop of witch hunters. They find those who practise witchcraft and in doing so condemn them to death. Death by pyre to be exact.

The whole country and the witch hunters have been indoctrinated with hatred, mistrust and fear towards witches. Led by Blackwell, the king's own Inquisitor.

The biggest threat to the country is the wizard Nicholas Perevil, and yet he turns out to be a knight in shining armour for Elizabeth.What is so important about Elizabeth that Blackwell felt the need to condemn her with such ease?

Her beliefs are shaken to the core when she is confronted with the duplicity of her alleged friends and her boss. It is hard to determine which side is the right side. Are the witches being hunted without real cause and with secondary motives? How is it that the very people who despise all things witchcrafty seem to know just how to use it?

The story is filled with plenty of colourful characters, witty moments and a plot with plenty of potential for future development. Boecker gets a little hectic in her writing when it comes to the action scenes, this is especially apparent at the end. Those fight and action scenes need the same patience and dedication, as the rest of the book. Other than that Boecker has a really good writing voice and offers up a creative box of tricks.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Sunday 7 June 2015

Blog Tour/Q&A/Review - If Jack Had by Steven Rappaport

Today is my turn on the Blog Tour for If Jack Had. It is going to be a lengthy post with an introduction to the author and premise of the book, a very intriguing Q & A and my review of the book.

If you would like to follow the tour then read Blog Tour-If Jack Had for links to my fellow bloggers and tour dates. There will be guest posts, author interviews, excerpts, book reviews, Q&A's and giveaways for the entire month of June. So without further ado:

About the Author:

Steven Rappaport, age 68, has been a stock trader, pot dealer, itinerant hippie peddler, cab driver, retailer, and is currently a successful commercial real estate salesperson in Manhattan.

He offers a simple rationale for his first novel: “My eldest son, Jack, died at forty from a progressively debilitating, unknown neurological disorder. This brilliant boy, a Vassar grad, never got to live the life he deserved. I’ve infused him with one.”

About If Jack Had:

"What's the difference between a serial killer and an assassin? A pay check."

Jack is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist with a secret second job. Since he was a smart-ass grad student slinking around New York’s Upper West Side and Brighton Beach, he’s been working as an assassin for the Russian mob.

Beginning at the end – that is, with an aged, incontinent, and at last truly alone Jack, his mind made
up that tomorrow will be the first day he kills someone he loves: himself – If Jack Had [Black Rose Writing, June 4 2015] tells his story in rearview, providing an all-access-pass into the enviable, high-flying life he clear-cut for himself against all odds…and the (literal) trail of dead he left along the way.

The debut novel from sixty-eight-year-old Manhattan author Steve Rappaport, If Jack Had is, much like its protagonist, more than meets the eye. A caper comedy featuring sex and drugs, blasphemy and blood, far-flung exotic locales and all the other stuff that makes for good, not-so-clean fun, If Jack Had also happens to have a big, beating heart. Beneath the surface, it’s a meditation on family, fatherhood, the indignities of aging, the inevitability of loneliness, and the preciousness of life itself.

Q & A with Steven Rappaport

I like to introduce authors by asking them a few questions to 'break the ice.'

The last book you read?
The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan.

A group, singer or song your readers would be surprised to hear you listen to?
The Incredible String Band

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?
God. He would have the best stories.

All of the above questions are a pretty elaborate psych evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones.

As the author, do you think Jack is a sociopath? Is that the way you wanted the readers to perceive him? (not all of them obviously, because each reader has a subjective experience)
If I were a psychologist, I guess I would. I drew a character and I told a story. I never thought or cared about how he, or any of the characters, or the story itself, would be perceived.

Has he unknowingly raised a child with the same tendencies or is this child a product of his father's or perhaps not so well hidden second life?
Good question. Nature/Nurture. He had three other children who didn't have the same anger as the killer does. However, ostensibly, he was the gentlest of the offspring. What lies beneath...

Towards the end it becomes apparent that Jack has perhaps been overly confident in his ability to hide his second identity from his family. Do you think it was important to him to maintain the life as a normal husband and father?
More than important. It was a necessary fact of existence.

Would he have been able to live without killing? Is the need to kill a necessity?
If not killing, then some other way to express the hurt and resentment and anger at the core.Killing can be seen as a talent that naturally arises, like the person who becomes a cellist without having a Tiger Mom pushing them since birth. Cream rises to the top.

In the end is his wish to die ruled more by the liability he knows he has become or because he can no longer get his thrills by killing, because he knows he will forget?
A killer is a control freak. Aging is the gradual loss of control over your body, your life and your mind. At a certain point, life sucks, and is no longer worth living. Your last act is the final expression of the way you lived, in charge of your own destiny. And it is a final gift to those you loved.

How much of yourself flows into your characters?
Write what you know.

Last but not least I would like to thank you for answering my questions (even the odd ones).

Before I launch into my review there is something I would like to say about my reading experience of If Jack Had. First I read the book, then based on that I wrote the questions for the Q&A. Then I read Steve's answers to my questions, which made me ponder both the man and the story. When I then read the author and book blurb everything just slotted into place for me.


Rappaport has written a main character, who is full of a deep inner anger. Jack comprehends that particular side of himself, which is why I think he decides to seek out a solution or rather an avenue to express his true emotions.

The anger and resentment is present from the very beginning. The violence goes hand in hand with him throughout his childhood and then adult life. Does he enjoy it? Does he feel the need to kill? Do the kills fill him with an inner satisfaction?

I think the answer to those questions is fairly obvious at any time during the story. Jack is two people at the same time.The loving family man with a mediocre life, and the killer with a penchant for brutality. Never the twain shall meet.

Jack comes to a drastic conclusion towards the end of his life. In his muddled state he has become a liability, a risk factor he and others can't really measure. To save his fake image, his family and to keep everyone safe from his business associates.

In an ironic twist, someone close to him has followed in the same angry footsteps. Is that the call of nature or has he nurtured someone like himself? Perhaps his secret life wasn't as secret as he thought. The ones who think they are smarter than everyone else, tend not be as smart as they think they are. Jack seems to have become a believer in his own myth.

I enjoyed the way Rappaport ended the book. In his own way he has shown that we are all but mere mortals, no matter how great, intelligent, dangerous or humane we are. No difference is made between a person, who has led their life with integrity, purpose and has left a positive mark on society or one who has left nothing but a trail of negativity behind them. Death is the same to all.

This is a fast paced tale with many layers if you look closely and read between the lines.

To Buy:

If Jack Had [Black Rose Writing] is available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in brick-and-mortar bookstores nationwide as of June 4, 2015.

Find If Jack Had on Goodreads and at

Saturday 6 June 2015

Dark Prayer by Natasha Mostert

Mostert has created the premise of this story with an almost utopian stance towards the subject of memory and its possible developmental future in science.

Combine that with a murder and a girl, who has no idea who she used to be, and you have quite a good plot.

The real question is whether Jenilee or Eloise is the fugue state. If the new identity appeared due to trauma and will disappear when the trauma has been dealt with, then who is to say the actual trauma didn't happen a long time ago and perhaps she became Jenilee in a fugue state when she was very young.

Eloise is haunted by memories, but not her own memories. They have been placed in her like some storage facility with cheap rates. She shies away from the truth and a solution, because she knows it means she will have to let go of Eloise and return to being someone she doesn't even remember.

Even Jack is reluctant to help Jenilee return, but holding on to the fugue state called Eloise will not bring either of them any closer to the truth or her trauma. The truth is connected to their family members and a secret society of brilliant minds.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Thursday 4 June 2015

Blog Tour/Q&A/Review: The Spider in the Corner of the Room by Nikki Owen

Today it's my turn to welcome author Nikki Owen and her excellent book The Spider in the Corner of the Room to my blog. Read on to find out more about The Spider in the Corner of the Room, including my review and a fantastic Q&A with Nikki Owen.

About The Spider in the Corner of the Room

What to believe
Who to betray
When to run…

Plastic surgeon Dr Maria Martinez has Asperger’s. Convicted of killing a priest, she is alone, in prison and has no memory of the murder.

DNA evidence places Maria at the scene of the crime, yet she claims she’s innocent. Then she starts to remember…

A strange room. Strange people. Being watched.
As Maria gets closer to the truth she is drawn into a web of international intrigue and must fight not only to clear her name but to remain alive.

As addictive as the Bourne novels, with a protagonist as original as The Bridge’s Saga Norén.

About the author

Nikki Owen is an award-winning writer and columnist. Previously Nikki was a marketing consultant and a University teaching fellow before turning to writing full time.

As part of her degree, she studied at the acclaimed University of Salamanca – the same city where her protagonist of The Spider in the Corner of the Room, Dr Maria Martinez, hails from.

The Spider in the Corner of the Room is Nikki’s debut international novel – the first in a trilogy – and will be published in several languages. In 2014 the trilogy was optioned by NBC International Televison for a one-hour returnable TV series.


Before we get down to business (i.e. talking about your book) I would like to ask a set of questions I call 'Breaking the Ice.'

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms want to know)
Normal by Graeme Cameron – creeped out that I liked the protagonist (who happens to be serial killer!) Currently reading my 13-year old daughter’s copy of Paper Towns by John Green (before we go to watch the film). Talk about diverse genres…

The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, name it)?
The Fault In Ours Stars – I cry every time I watch it with my daughters. Amazing character presence and such an emotional, poignant story

Are you more of a Game of Thrones or Outlander gal? (Combinations are possible)
I’m an Outlander gal. Would like to time-travel please

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?
I’m going to say two: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, hands down.
They are my heroes.

Something you treat yourself to, now and again? (Cream éclairs totally count)
Say it quietly…Green and Black creamy milk chocolate – like, the ENTIRE 100 gram bar in ONE sitting with a good book/film/TV box set series online. This is why I race triathlons…

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let’s talk about The Spider in the Corner of the Room.

I have got to say the aspect of the story I found most fascinating was the Asperger Syndrome element of your main character. Fictional books, especially crime and psychological thrillers tend to shy away from uncomfortable, awkward main characters or main characters deemed 'different' by society. So, this is not only a breath of fresh air it is also a big step away from the norm. Personally I applaud the idea, and think it is innovative. Do you have a personal connection to Asperger's?
I’ve met and know a few people, throughout my life, with Asperger’s - some on the lower end of the autistic spectrum, others on the opposite side who cannot communicate via language - and the common thread I have noticed is that still there are misperceptions about what Asperger’s (and autism) is.
In my writing, I wanted to confront not only these misperceptions, but the way in which society misunderstands anyone who they label ‘different’. Teachers, for example, need to better comprehend that the boy in class who obsessively reads is not ‘being rude’ when he doesn’t put his book down in class – he simply has Asperger’s; adults need to get their heads round the fact that, when a mum with mild Asperger’s in the park says, in reaction to a question from another mum about her weight gain, ‘Well, you do have fat ankles,’ the Asperger’s mum’s not being rude – she’s just speaking as she sees it, because her brain does not have the social filters we do to dust the truth with white lies.
I deliberately focussed on Asperger’s because there is so much misunderstanding out there, and I wanted to, in some small way, challenge that.

Was it important to you to show readers the inner mind-set, emotional turmoil and boundaries of someone with Asperger's?
100% yes. And for so many reasons, the main one of which was to foster more understanding of what it is to have Asperger’s – especially as a female (female experience of Asperger’s can be very different to that of males). But also, no matter what my writing subject, it is important for me to try and get into the mind of a character, to try and say something that signifies something not only about that person, but about society as a whole. It’s only when we hear inside someone’s brain do we truly begin understand what makes them – and, in a wider context, life – exist. As a writer (and a nosey parker!) that is fascinating. For me, the germ of a story always starts with a strong character voice.

I would love to know whether the choice to make Maria so multi-dimensional, whilst highlighting such an important issue was a choice or was the idea of a character with Asperger's something you were planning on writing about anyway?
A bit of both. I always wanted to create a strong, thought-provoking character, while, at the same time, I had a desire to really challenge common misperceptions. As far as I see it, we are all different, right? I’m different from you, you from me, and so on. It’s just logic. So, I definitely wanted to create something that would blow those misperceptions out of the water and force people to consider celebrating individuality.

I really enjoyed the way you managed to filter in important information about AS, despite the overall scenario and plot being quite complex. You make the reader aware of the distinction between Asp. Syn., learning disabilities and the Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the new DSM all the subgroups are considered to be on the autism spectrum. You disagree with this...why?
Great question. I, personally, believe the danger with the new DSM doing away with the term ‘Asperger’s’ and slotting everyone in on the same scale is that it could make the misperceptions worse, and this can only be a bad thing. I think a lot still has to be done to create greater acceptance in society of people on the spectrum, whilst, at the same time developing a deeper understanding of the wide ranging complexities involved. I hope The Spider in the Corner of the Room, in some small way, generates a conversation point that may help with that.

Getting back to Maria: Why do you think she was able to make such an intimate social connection to Patricia?
Love this question! I think, bottom line, Patricia understands Maria. The thing I enjoyed about writing Patricia, is that she is such a pure character, and this is against a back drop of deceit and lies and corruption. Patricia, unlike mainstream society, doesn’t judge and, as is inherent in her nature, just accepts people for the way they are. That’s why she is so good with Maria, so calm, patient, understanding. Writing the scenes between those two was quite an emotional time.

Where do you think you can take Maria from here and are you going to keep some of her story focused on her Asperger's?
The Spider in the Corner of the Room is part one of the Project trilogy, so, excitingly, books two and three of the series are due out in spring/summer 2016 and 2017 respectively. So, yup, we get to see Maria and her story grow, and most certainly, there is a continuance of a focus on her Asperger’s. After the trilogy, who knows? It would be amazing to take Maria’s character and story even further, if the Project trilogy became a huge hit. I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed!

Lastly I would like to thank you for answering all my questions, both the bizarre and the more story focused ones.
Mighty welcome! An honour (and thrill!) to be asked questions about Spider – I love a good natter


I thought this book was a breath of fresh air with an innovative premise. It highlights an important issue in our society, how our misconceptions about autism and  other syndromes on the spectrum still define the way we treat people who fall into those categories.

It was a bold move on Owen's part, to create a character with Asperger's, and weave this quite complex and fast paced psychological thriller around it. I enjoyed and was intrigued by the choice. Authors tend to stay away from awkward or characters 'deemed' different by society.

It not only gives an insight into the mind of a person with Asperger's and in doing so may help others understand the difficulties they deal with on a daily basis. In this case the prison setting exacerbates the Asperger's, which in itself is quite an interesting read.

I think the most fascinating parts of the story are the ones dealing with both the limitations and advantages of Maria's Asperger's. The moments when the reader gets a really vivid insight into the mindset, the decision process, the fears and the very distinct processes she applies to her surroundings and people.

Maria finds herself accused, convicted of and imprisoned for murder. She is convinced of her innocence and confused by all the events that have brought her to this point. Initially she is confined to solitary, a grave mistake on their part, especially in combination with her syndrome.

A cat and mouse game ensues between Maria, her mind and whoever is sitting in the interview/therapy room with her. Suddenly everyone is part of her 'imagined' conspiracy theories. She starts to doubt her innocence, perhaps she really is a brutal killer. Maybe everyone is right and she is losing touch with reality. Or are her theories not just figments of her imagination.

An unusual friendship blossoms between Maria and an inmate. Unusual because her social filters and skills usually make such a connection difficult.

Maria's biggest battle is with herself, there is no doubt about that. She can't trust her instincts, her perceptions or any interactions she has with any person. Any one else would probably go completely insane, so I guess there must be something really special about Maria, right? I'll leave you to find that out for yourself.

A big thank you to Nikki Owen and Harlequin Mira UK for providing me with a copy of The Spider in the Corner of the Room. To buy on AmazonUK or other outlets via Goodreads.

The Spider in the Corner of the Room is now called Subject 375 and part of The Project series.

Read The Project #2 The Killing Files by Nikki Owen.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Blog Tour - If Jack Had by Steven Rappaport

The Blog Tour for If Jack Had is a month long blogathon with plenty of treats: giveaways, reviews, guestposts, Q & A's and interviews. Join me here on the 7th of June for my part of the tour.
1st of June
Mallory Heart Reviews ( -
2nd of June
Pebble In The Still Water ( -
3rd of June
Wag The Fox ( for an excerpt
4th of June
Tome Tender ( for book review
5th of June
Books & Stuff ( for book review
6th of June
Shelf Life ( for book review
7th of June
Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog ( for book review & author Q&A
8th of June
It’s Either Sadness or Euphoria ( for book review
9th of June
MJ’s Book Blog ( for book review, author Q&A & paperback giveaway
10th of June
Maureen’s Books ( for book review & guest post
11th of June 
CrimeFiction.FM ( for guest post
12th of June
Books Reviews & Giveaways ( for book review, author Q&A & paperback giveaway
13th of June
Reviewer’s Diary ( for author Q&A
14th of June
Pop Cults ( for book review
15th of June
Good Reads Mad Reads ( for author interview
16th of June
Texas Library Lady ( for book review & guest post
17th of June
PaperrDolls ( for book review
17th of June 
Zee Monodee ( for book review
18th of June
Reading Grrl ( for book review, guest post & e-book giveaway
19th of June 
Sue’s Reviews ( for book review
20th of June
Beauty and a Book ( for book review
21st of June
Musings of a Bookish Woman ( for book review
22nd of June
The Critically Acclaimed ( for book review & author Q&A plus paperback giveaway
23rd of June
DruidGirl’s Reviews ( for book review
24th of June 
Iamjanesheart ( for book review & 1 e-book giveaway
25th of June
In Between Books ( for book review & guest post
26th of June
Readful Things ( for book review & e-book giveaway
27th of June
Katsmiao ( for book review
28th of June
North Denver Non Zombie ( for book review
29th of June
Kirstyes ( for book review and character interview
30th of June
BigReaderSite ( for book review

Have fun hop, skipping and jumping from blog to blog!