Tuesday 26 July 2016

The Santiago Sisters by Victoria Fox

The bond between sisters is supposed to be strong, so the bond between twin sisters should be unbreakable, right? The truth is that the sisterly bond can also cause the kind of powerful emotions that can make or break a relationship.

Calida and Tess are close and yet at the same time they are worlds apart. Tess is like a wild caged bird trying to break free from the restraints of her environment and her upbringing.

Calida is the exact opposite, she is happy in her environment barring the fact her mother acts as if she doesn't exist, but at least her father thinks she can walk on water. She feels second best to the absolutely stunning Tess, whereas she is merely just pretty.

The supposed inequality between the two of them leads to a parting of ways and years of built-up resentment.

The sisters make their separate ways into the world of the rich and famous. One of them behind the scenes and the other in the spotlight. Jealousy, anger and spite drives the two of them, which keeps them from building lasting and meaningful relationships. Whether they know it or not they miss each other and their special bond.

Fox writes with the same panache, glitz and glam of Jackie Collins. She also likes to mix up family and Hollywood dramas with more than a pinch of sensual spice. Her characters are not exactly coy.
If you're looking for a read that caters for readers that like their books heavy on the drama, with a hefty portion of the horizontal tango and interwoven with strong emotions, then this is the type of book I would recommend.

Buy The Santiago Sisters at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

One of the most interesting elements of this story is the fact the author hasn't created a black or white situation.

There are many shades of grey, and in this case those shades relate directly to whether the characters are good guys or bad guys. The truth is, there is no clear answer to that question.

The reader feels sympathy with Edie, because of the hard situation she finds herself in. She is a single woman, who is about to become a single mother. When the baby does eventually arrive she is overwhelmed and clearly needs a friend.

Heather seems like the great alternative to a support system, despite the troubled past she and Edie share. Seems like the perfect solution. Edie needs help and Heather wants to help. Does she really want to help though?

Heather has a tendency to stalk, get violent and blackout. She is creepy and clearly unstable. Would you want her to take care of your newborn baby?

Throughout the book Edie has flashbacks to a time when she and Heather were friends and also to some terrible event that ended said friendship.

What it comes down to is who you think is guilty of the greater crime or wrong-doing. There are things that are unforgivable or so inhumane that they leave a deep dark stain on anyone involved in them. Some wrongs can never be righted.

Watching Edie will make you question everything and everyone. It is a nicely paced and well-developed psychological thriller, and despite the fact the reader can probably guess the traumatic secret the two of them are hiding, it is still a compelling read.

Buy Watching Edie at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

As I have mentioned before I am a little late to the series, despite having the books in the house for ages. I must say I have enjoyed the read then again I am a sucker for dystopian settings.

This is the second part in the Divergent series. You can definitely see the influence this series has had on other books and vice versa. Also the obvious parallels to the Hunger Games (HG was released first). It's an eclectic mixture of dystopian and sci-fi.

I believe the two series have given YA dystopian literature a huge platform, whilst inspiring many other authors to bend the boundaries of this particular genre.

The Tris in this book is a bit of an emotional wreck. A wet blanket who acts without thinking and spends a lot of time doubting her choices. Gone is the strong sense of survival from the first book.

In my review of the first part I mentioned how I felt the compulsory love match took away from the interesting dystopian plot. In this book their relationship is a wee bit on the rocky side.In fact Four does not seem to understand her at all.Their attitudes and decisions are incompatible, although one could argue that Four has just been really good at hiding his real intentions.

It is a typical in between book. A lot of information to fill in the blanks and set up the last book. The first sets up the story, the second gives us an overall view on the situation and the last one is the culmination of the revolution.

Definitely a series both younger and older readers will enjoy

Buy Insurgent at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read Divergent, the first in the Divergent Trilogy series by Veronica Roth.

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

The most worrying element of this story is the plausibility of this scenario. What could have been and what could still be.

The topic of racism is at the forefront of society, as we watch the civil unrest in the US rise and the topic of refugees cause conflict in Europe.

The truth is racism has always been an underlying issue in the US. The civil movement, segregation and slavery isn't really that long ago. So this story is en-vogue in a sense, and the premise is a red flag with absolutely realistic scenarios.

In this book slavery was never abolished. in fact it has become a well oiled industry. It is also supposedly a humane industry, but hey it's slavery and greedy men will always exploit the vulnerable.
Instead of humane treatment, the slaves, known as PBL's 'person bound by labour' suffer pain and humiliation at the hands of their captors. Some of them are even killed, despite it being illegal to do so.

Victor was once a PBL who escaped the injustice of his situation only to be forced into a new kind of slavery. He is what the Kapos were to the concentration camp inmates. He is a betrayer to his own people. It's his job to hunt down the ones who are lucky enough to escape.

I like the fact Winters has had the gumption to take the idea back to the beginning of the end and change the historical narrative. This is what half of the country wanted and what it could possibly have evolved into under a different set of circumstances.

To be completely frank the Pigmentation Taxonomies really struck a chord with me. It or the descriptions bring the inhumanity of it all to the forefront: moderate charcoal, brass highlights #41, moderate chestnut, sunflower highlights #142 or twilight, purple tone #122.  It objectifies all of them in a way I can't even begin to fathom and could never relate to.

Underground Airlines serves as a stark reminder of the race issues that simmer under the surface and how much damage the social philosophy of eugenics has caused and continues to cause. We are one race, the human race.

As I said, it's a powerful thought-provoking premise and read.

Buy Underground Airlines at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Sunday 17 July 2016

Blog-Tour: All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Today is my turn on the Blog-Tour for Wendy Walker's intriguing thriller All is Not Forgotten!

About the Author
Wendy Walker is a practicing divorce attorney in Fairfield County, Connecticut who began writing while at home raising her three sons. She published two novels with St. Martin’s Press and edited multiple compilations for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series before writing her debut psychological thriller, All is Not Forgotten.
How can people connect with Wendy Walker on social media?

She has an email which can be found via her website: wendywalkerbooks.com
Twitter handle is @Wendy_Walker
Facebook is: Facebook.com/WendyWalkerAuthor
Or on Goodreads
Buy All is Not Forgotten at Amazon UK
You can follow the tour with @HQStories or @Wendy_Walker just look for #NotForgotten

About the Book
You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime. Jenny's wounds have healed. An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack. She is moving on with her life. That was the plan. Except it's not working out. Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can't stop touching. And she's getting worse. Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial. It may be that the only way to uncover what's wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack. And that could destroy as much as it heals.

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)
I just read an ARC of a book called The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. It is a family drama/thriller that captures the essence of family dysfunction and the ripple effects that last for generations. Fabulous!

The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet...you name it)? The last movie I got to see without my three teenage sons was Brooklyn (yes – I went with a girlfriend!). It was gorgeous and moving and yet so simple. Great film making!

Are you more of a Game of Thrones or Outlander gal? (Combinations are possible)
I have to admit, as unpopular as this will make me with some of your readers, that while I appreciate the wonderful characters and epic settings of those shows, I tend to enjoy television that is more real world. House of Cards, Homeland, The Americans and for comedy I am totally addicted to Catastrophe!

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?
I am so tempted right now to answer in a way that will make me seem profoundly intellectual but the honest, suburban mom answer is George Clooney!

Something you treat yourself to, now and again? 
(Cream ├ęclairs totally count) Dinner with a close friend. There is something about letting everything out with someone who knows you well, who holds your history, and whom you trust completely (over a glass of wine, of course) that is absolutely blissful.

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. There are some really interesting answers though. I am a fan of Homeland, House of Cards and Newsroom, so I totally get the interest in real world TV. 
Now let’s talk about All is Not Forgotten.

I particularly enjoyed the angle you chose to approach this topic from; usually the focus is on the victim, in All is Not Forgotten you make the reader sit on the balcony of the arena and watch with the rest of the characters, as the story unfolds…

How did you come to the decision to tell the story in this way? What was the intention behind taking this approach?
I had two objectives when I set out to write this book. The first was to provide a substantive exposition of the underlying issue – which is memory science and the treatment of trauma following a criminal assault. The second was to tell the story in a unique way that would capture a reader’s attention completely but also feel like an engaging conversation with a friend. I plotted each character’s story using coloured note cards and stacked them sequentially. But then I layered them into the chapters at times when they felt organic to the story. That way, the information did not get out of order, but it was delivered to the reader with the structure I designed.

Charlotte and Tom both react to the situation in vastly opposing ways, which causes a lot of friction throughout the book – did this predicament make up part of your initial idea, or was it something you came to later on?
Everything in this novel was carefully plotted. But, as I wrote, the characters did become more complex. I knew Charlotte and Tom would have that tension and I knew the basic psychological reasons behind it. What evolved as I wrote were the details of their back stories and how their childhoods fed their underlying personalities which are the basis of the conflict. The good Charlotte/bad Charlotte dynamic, for example, came about because of the way I was writing her story and how the narrator needed to explain things to her so he could help her understand. I loved that angle so much that I went back and gave it more substance throughout the earlier chapters.

You've obviously researched deeply into the use of drugs in the treatment of PTSD and trauma in regards to erasing memories. Did you find your own views on the use of this kind of treatment changing the further you delved into this? Did you make any unexpected or surprising discoveries along the way?
I was surprised at how advanced the science had become since I first read about it back in 2010. But the basic dilemma I saw for crime survivors remained the same. Anything that is intended to alter or erase a memory will conflict with the ability to seek justice and come to terms with the feelings of violation that are inherent in those experiences. My views on this did not change – I think the ability to mitigate PTSD is absolutely amazing and worthwhile. But it will pose difficult decisions for people whose traumas involve criminal assaults.

Even if a treatment such as this does have a positive effect in cases of PTSD, physically and psychologically it negates the possibility of conviction, which raises quite a significant ethical question. Are these sorts of divisive dilemmas at the heart of all of the stories you write?
I try very hard to structure my novels around issues that will resonate in readers on a personal level. In All Is Not Forgotten, I hope readers will think about this dilemma every time they read about memory science and even in their every day lives as they wonder what they would choose for themselves or for their children. Dilemmas in relationships and families and society as a whole make us stop and think and feel things, and for me that is what can make any story worth reading.

The big question of the hour comes down to whether it is better to forget or remember all the details of a traumatic event: if you were in Jenny’s shoes, which option do you think you would take?
This is always a tough question for me. I would absolutely choose to mitigate the emotional component with some of the treatments that are available now. Reconsolidating memories of trauma in therapy to reduce the emotional pain they hold seems to me to be life saving for many people. That said, I do not think I would choose to erase the factual memory if that became possible. And I would not do anything that would impede justice. For me, personally, that would be a priority.

Thank you for answering all the questions, even the odd ones!

I have to hand it to Walker, she certainly doesn't pull any punches. Her story is vicious in a sense that this is the sad reality for many young women. Being treated like a piece of meat, being used and abused, being exploited and having to adapt their behaviour to not become a victim, has been the norm for many years.

Jenny is pushed into coping with the rape. In a way it seems as if her parents do her an even bigger injustice by pressing the delete button on her memories. Her mother wants to shove the experience under the carpet and her father is mainly concerned with vengeance. So having the memories erased causes instant conflict between Charlotte and Tom, because only one person is getting what they want. Begs the question, where does that leave the poor victim in this scenario?

Eventually it all leads to a complete burnout for Jenny. Not being able to come to terms with the assault leaves its mark on the young girl. Finally she gets the help and support she needs in the form of therapy. The therapist sees the case as a personal challenge and possible milestone in his career. He seems more interested in solving her case or rather helping her to remember for his own benefit.

Makes you wonder whether the therapist's ego actually takes a higher place in the scheme of things. His ability to discover, heal and be right seems to dominate the entire scenario.

In that regard he isn't really that different from her parents. Both Tom and Charlotte have agendas and goals, which are driven by their own frame of reference and past experiences. Overall it becomes clear just how little everything is about the actual victim. It's about Tom's need for revenge, Charlotte's need to look normal for society, the therapist's need to succeed, but hardly ever really truthfully about Jenny coming to terms with the rape.

The therapist also allows the feelings of his own past assault to steer and guide the conversation and therapy with all of them. This makes him anything but objective, and certainly a less than wise choice in the healing process. He feels elation and excitement every time Jenny remembers a piece of the puzzle.

It's an engrossing read because the topic is controversial and the twist is a shocker. I enjoyed the cat and mouse pace, despite figuring out said twist. Walker has added a subtle layer of complexity to her psychological thriller, which made it a memorable reading experience and a breath of fresh air.

Buy All is Not Forgotten at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Friday 15 July 2016

The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne

Tremayne keeps the reader guessing when it comes to which one of the happily married couple is slightly deranged. At certain points of the story it is quite hard to decide whether David or Rachel should win the trophy for the most bizarre and crazy character.

What Tremayne does really well is describe the surroundings.You can almost see yourself walking through the majestic rooms and the countryside. The landscape, the house, the mines and also the history of the miners.

I think the reality of miners lives, both in and out of the mines, is often trivialized. In this story the author gives an accurate sense of the stark brutality and hardship of that way of life, and also the riches reaped from the work of said miners.

One of the things that peeved me was the reaction to the assault. Why the assault wasn't enough to warrant the exclusion, which is just so typical of our society.

I would have liked to have seen more focus on the myth or reality of being a fire child, I felt as if the rest of the story overpowered that element of the tale.

The Fire Child is a mixture of mystery, a smidgen of paranormal and a large portion of important social justice issues.

Buy The Fire Child at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Upcoming Blog-Tour: All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

I am really excited to be part of the Blog-Tour for Wendy Walker's All is Not Forgotten. There will be reviews, guest posts, Q&A's and excerpts from the book, and believe you me this is one you don't want to miss!

Here are the links to my fellow bloggers wonderful blogs, so you can follow the tour:

14th of July sincerelybookangels.blogspot.co.uk and Albainbookland.com

15th of July rathertoofondofbooks.wordpress.com and thebookreviewcafe.wordpress.com

16th of July bytheletterbookreviews.wordpress.com and victorialovesbooks.wordpress.com

17th of July jasminepearlreads.wordpress.com and mmcheryl.wordpress.com

18th of July myreadingcorner.co.uk

19th of July baattyaboutbooks.wordpress.com

20th of July thebooklife.co.uk

21st  of July magicarmchairtraveller.blogspot.co.uk

22nd of July celestelovesbooks.blogspot.ie

Hope to see you here on Sunday the 17th of July for  my review of All is Not Forgotten and a fantastic Q&A with Wendy Walker!

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Scar Tissue by M.C. Domovitch

I think the real question in this book is how far would you go to protect your own? How many people would you sacrifice to keep your own family safe, even to the detriment of other family members.

Would you make the same choices if you knew the person you were protecting was a danger to others?

Ciara finds herself in the middle of this type of situation, except she has no idea she is, and on top of it all she is the mouse in this game of cat and mouse.

She is found at the side of the road after being abducted, raped, tortured and then run over by a car. Not sure if it is a blessing or not, but she literally has no memory of the events at all. Of course this makes her a liability. She could remember at any moment in time and be able to point the finger at the culprit, which means she is still very much a target.

Hopefully in the next book the special talent or gift Ciara has will receive a little more attention, then again it might be a completely different character playing the lead. It will be interesting to see where the author takes this series.

Domovitch likes to mix up her thrillers with a wee bit of family drama and the occasional psycho.

Buy Scar Tissue (The Mindsight series #1) at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

It doesn't happen often, but now and again I will read a book that annoys me. Part of it was because it was a good premise, however it wasn't very well executed. Far too much gratuitous drama and attention on minor characters.

The other part was just overall annoyance at the plot and characters in general.

That in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. You know what they say, if you're talking about a book it must have had something in it that moved you, made you angry or just plain annoyed you.

The way Lily was allowed to make decisions above police procedures, just for an extra dramatic scene, was unrealistic. That her first instinct wasn't to call the authorities at all, and yes I do understand her paranoia, was a little hard to swallow.

I also understand the author wanting to emphasis how families are completely torn apart by crimes such as this one. Saying that, there was way too much focus on Lily's mother and her choice of boyfriend. It gave nothing to the story.

The story would have been tighter and more enjoyable if the focus had remained on Lily and her abductor. Focusing on the victim-blaming and victim-shaming mentality of the media and society. The way people would rather believe the word of a proven rapist and abuser, because he is an upstanding member of society, rather than believing the word of a young damaged woman.

This is exactly what Overton tries to do, but those elements are drowned out by the mother and the Abby's personal drama.

The end was slightly muddled in a sense that Overton could have taken it in a variety of interesting directions. Abby implying Lily may feel something other than hate for her abductor for instance. It opened so many doors on a moral and psychological level.

The author has great ideas they just need to be reined in and given more structure and direction.

Buy Baby Doll at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Today: Blog-Tour: Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

Today is my turn on the fabulous blog-tour for Sarah Morgan's Sunset in Central Park. Follow the Tour on Twitter with the #MorganinManhattan and @Mira_BooksUK @SarahMorgan_ and @HQStories

About the Author
Sarah Morgan writes warm contemporary women's fiction with her trademark humour which has gained her fans across the globe. Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on holiday so she can forget the house needs tidying.
You can visit Sarah online at her website: www.sarahmorgan.com on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahMorgan or on Twitter @SarahMorgan_

About the book
In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it's been right under your nose all along…

Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents' divorce, she's seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that's strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…

Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he's known forever and doesn't want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

Preorder/Buy Sunset in Central Park at Amazon UK or Amazon com


There is one thing I can say consistently about any book by Sarah Morgan, and that is that while I am reading it I always know I am going to recommend it to someone. I'll be thinking of people I know who will enjoy the story as much I have.

This isn't always the case with every author or every book. Morgan does what she does really well. Her subtle combination of humour, friendship and love stories are also infused with a close sense of family. It is not uncommon for a tear-drop to fall or a snort of laughter to be heard whilst reading her stories.

Sunset in Central Park is the second part of the From Manhattan with Love series. The first is Sleepless in Manhattan and the third is Miracle on 5th Avenue (coming Nov 2016). The series focuses on the three friends Eva, Paige and Frankie, and they have a connection to Puffin Island, which is another popular series by Sarah Morgan.

In this book we follow the story of Frankie and Matt. Frankie lives her life based on the experiences she has had in her past and especially her childhood. She doesn't believe in everlasting love or a happy ever after.She also doesn't think she is pretty enough or good enough in the horizontal tango department.

At the same time she feels attracted to one of her best friends, but is scared of letting herself go and letting herself feel the love she knows she wants and needs. Matt wants to show her how much he cares. however he knows Frankie will bolt like a scared horse at the first sign of any romantic or flirtatious gesture.

To take the next step in her future Frankie has to get some closure about events in the past. The rocky relationships with her parents and the island she left behind her a long time ago.
In this book Morgan once again explores the difficult evolution of friends to lovers. Sometimes it is the perfect development of a relationship and other times it can be the absolute destruction of a friendship.

I have to admit there was a moment I got all misty eyed again, something I am becoming accustomed to when I read one of Morgan's books. She just has a knack for  the written word and special moments.
As always it was a pleasure to read.

Buy Sunset in Central Park (From Manhattan with Love #2) at AmazonUK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

You can connect with Sarah online at her website: www.sarahmorgan.com on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahMorgan or on Twitter @SarahMorgan_

Read: The Christmas Sisters, Moonlight over Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love #6)Holiday in the Hamptons (From Manhattan with Love #5)New York Actually (From Manhattan with Love #4)Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love #3)Sleepless in Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love #1)Christmas Ever AfterFirst Time in ForeverMaybe This ChristmasSuddenly Last Summer or The Notting Hill Diaries, all by Sarah Morgan.

Follow @SarahMorgan_@HQStories and @HarperCollinsUK

Friday 8 July 2016

Unwanted by Jennifer Estep

This is an add-on novella to the Elemental Assassin series, part 14.5. It focuses solely on The Spider's stepbrother Finn.

Finnegan tends to play a solid but smaller role in the series, so it was nice to see Finnegan have his own time in the spotlight. Gin is such a strong character that the others often tend to sink into obscurity.

Still reeling from the betrayal in Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14), Finn is finding it hard to spend time with anyone. He feels as if he has let everyone down, and in doing so he has caused the deaths of many good people. He has blood on his hands.

His boss seems to want to prolong his suffering by insisting that Finn be at every single funeral for each person killed in the raid. Being confronted with so much hatred is enough to drive anyone to desperation.

Finn finds himself dragged into an unexpected situation, which he has to or rather wants to solve by himself.

It will be interesting to see whether the events of Bitter Bite change the way Finn interacts with his friends and family in the future. Will this make him just a little bit harder and a lot more cynical?

It's short and sweet, but with Estep's usual flair for memorable characters and strong story-lines.

Buy Unwanted at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

For more by Jennifer Estep read: Spider's Trap, Deadly StingPoison Promise, Bitter BiteThe SpiderThe Black Widow and Heart of Venom of the Elemental Assassin series or The Cold Burn of Magic, The Bright Blaze of Magic and Dark Heart of Magic of  the Black Blade series.

She Just Can't Help Herself by Ollie Quain

What I really like about Quain's writing and voice is the way she doesn't pull any punches. It is gritty, realistic and at times uncomfortable.

Why? Well that's what emotions are, they are messy, make you squirm and inevitably they can bring out the best and worst in people.

Her stories have a certain Jackie Collin's glam, glitz and fame mixed with a 21st century vibe. Quain combines the cut-throat fakery of the media, the shallow world of celebrity and the insidious nature of advertising. In the midst of this is the complicated lives of Tanya and Ashley, and the emotional breakdown of their friendship.

Tanya and Ashley used to be tighter than a nuns knicker elastic, and also as different as two girls can possibly be. Something happens to destroy their relationship, an event that causes an irreparable rift between them.

The overall theme is friendship and whether or not a broken one can be repaired or not. Seems simplistic, but there are things that are unforgivable, especially between best friends. The question is whether you can resume one after the unforgivable. Never forget, never forgive, but maybe they can move on with a clean slate, or maybe not.

It's a modern story, which will probably resonate with a lot of readers. The complications of marriage, divorce, friendship and careers, combined with the pressures and demands of adulthood.

Buy She Just Can't Help Herself at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read How To Lose Weight and Alienate People by Ollie Quain.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

The Hollows seems to be a place where the supernatural and inexplicable collide. Eloise appears to be the anchor in this place. A way to keep the balance.

This case is Finley's initiation in a way. It is time for her step up and also time for her grandmother to step down.

Finley's talent or gift manifests itself in a variety of ways. Sometimes she can hear sounds, other times she can see images and now she even finds herself inhabiting the bodies of other people. Her gift is developing and growing stronger. The more Eloise lets go, the deeper Finley gets drawn in.

She is asked to look into the disappearance of a little girl.The parents are at loggerheads, because one wants to resign himself to the fact she has gone and the other believes she is still alive. The father has his own motivation for moving on, and plenty of pent up guilt, because he wasn't able to help his child.

Unger describes the desperation of the mother very well. The need for closure, the need to know what happened, regardless of whether her child is alive or not. Not knowing is often worse than knowing.

Unger has a created an Urban Fantasy setting with a sliver of light horror flowing through it. It has the potential to be a compelling series. If that's the case we might get to see Finley learn to control her gift a little better.

Buy Ink and Bone at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Blog-Tour: Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

Today the Blog-Tour for Sunset in Central Park by the talented Sarah Morgan kicks off. It's going to be great.

Here are the links to my fellow bloggers exciting blogs, so you can follow this fantastic blog-tour, which includes exclusive content by Sarah Morgan and reviews of Sunset in Central Park.

7th July hannahreviewingbooks.blogspot.co.uk
8th July raereads1.blogspot.co.uk and

9th July spoonfulofhappyendings.blogspot.co.uk and

10th July sparklyword.com and

11th July apageofwholisticlove.blogspot.co.uk and

12th July thebookgeekwearspajamas.co.uk and

13th July skysbookcorner.blogspot.co.uk and

14th July erins-choice.blogspot.co.uk and

15th July theloveofagoodbook.wordpress.com

Hope to see you here on Sunday the 10th of July for my review of Sunset in Central Park!

Monday 4 July 2016

Circle: The Diary of Stella Moore by Peter Dudgeon

This is the sequel to Chance. I would suggest reading the first book, mainly because it will really help readers to understand Cassie and what she has been through.

It also explains the relationships she has with Laura and Frank, aside from that it is just a good read.

I wish there had been less of a jump forward in years. I would have liked to have read about Cassie between Chance and before Circle. Then we might have seen more of Aaron and Laura. In Circle the events take place 7 years after Chance. Cassie is on the brink of adulthood, which means she can put the past into perspective, and also sees any future visions in a different way.

Her visions are similar to seizures and Cassie often becomes part of the person or the evil she can see. She experiences the events as if she is there, often through the eyes of the perpetrators.

If you have read Chance you will be aware of the hidden society of sexual deviants run by high powered and well-known men in society.

Dudgeon likes to mix his fictional with the stark reality of abuse, sexual exploitation, domestic violence and rape. In Stella's case he makes the case for the thin line between coercion and consent. When the line is crossed both the victims and outsiders have trouble recognising the difference between abuse and actual true consent. This is also sometimes the case for the perpetrators.

Maybe Dudgeon will let Cassie and Frank become a more permanent fixture, perhaps a psychic-detective combo? Hint, hint.

Buy Circle at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read Chance, by Peter Dudgeon.

Sunday 3 July 2016

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

There is nothing remarkable about Margot. She is in the middle of a divorce, has a decent education, works as a teacher and she is the agony aunt for a smallish newspaper.

When she starts receiving letters from a young girl who disappeared over two decades ago her life, as she knows it, changes forever.

The arrival of the letters coincides with the disappearance of one of her ex-pupils, which seems to suggest some sort of connection.

The solution or the truth wasn't hard to figure out, however I wouldn't let that detract from the interesting premise and psychology involved in the process.

Is it feasible? Absolutely.Trauma, fear and anxiety can cause plenty of inexplicable physical and psychological reactions and many explicable ones.

The way Callaghan drew parallels in Margot's relationships and her mental state of health was interesting.

The thing about this book is that you can't really discuss it in depth without revealing the whole story, so I will leave it as it is and let readers find out for themselves.

Buy Dear Amy at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

This is the kind of job I would like. Surrounded by books, searching for books and being able to read books from all over the world and alternate universes connected via portals and inter-dimensional libraries. Is there any downside to that at all?

The Invisible Library is an interesting mixture of Urban Fantasy and Steampunk with a splodge of Sci-fi.

Irene is given a new task and a sidekick aka trainee, however the book she is supposed to retrieve this time appears to be something quite extraordinary. They also aren't the only ones looking for it.

Kai and Irene finds  themselves smack bang in the middle of political intrigue and a multi-species tug-of-war. On top of that the most infamous traitor the Library has ever known is also after the same book.

Kai has his own secrets to keep hidden, although certain emergency situations put him in the awkward position of having to reveal the truth.

There is this one paragraph, which reminded me of a conversation I had with a bookworm friend. People who really love books tend to keep them to themselves. They tend to collect and hoard them. My friend and a character in the book point out how selfish this is. Books and their content are meant to be shared with others. The Library seems to be slightly guilty of this behaviour.

The revelations in the Grimm book certainly set the stage for the sequel, The Masked City. There seems to be a possibility that one of the characters may be part of a bigger picture or rather a secret that may have all sorts of consequences.

Buy The Invisible Library at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Saturday 2 July 2016

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

This isn't exactly a happy read, but it is a stark reminder of the reality of the insidious nature of abuse.

It also paints a vivid picture of how quickly people make assumptions when it comes to children with behavioural issues.

A victim of a never-ending circle of terror at home and bullying at school, June is too afraid to speak up and say something. She is teased, blamed for things she hasn't done, over-fed and spends 24/7 in a state of perpetual fear.

So it isn't really a surprise when she starts acting out. First it is simply sticking up for herself and then her behaviour becomes more aggressive. No one seems to question why?

There are quite a few people through the years who know there is something not right, but they never act on their gut feelings or suspicions.

June feels betrayed by her father, for not seeing what is going on. A deep well of inner rage eventually leads to a tragedy that changes everyone's lives forever.

The story is presented in a before and after scenario. Before the event and after the event. It is often an uncomfortable read, because this is how many children have to live. Society is full of silent victims, who spend their time just wishing for someone to rescue them and at the same time being afraid anyone will.

I liked the fact Heathfield didn't try to make it a comfortable read or a read with some sunny funny moments. With that in mind I was a little surprised by the ending, I think I would have preferred the full throttle and consequences scenario.

Definitely an author I will be revisiting.

Buy Paper Butterflies at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Friday 1 July 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The author makes a really interesting point about crime on board ships, especially cruise ships and at sea. There is a huge loophole where jurisdiction is concerned.

Can the crime be pinpointed to a certain body of water? Is it international water or a specific country?

In reality crimes on board are usually left to the security firm or guards on each individual ship, and they always have the best interest of the company at heart. There is also a dark statistic about actual crime swept under the carpet and kept on the down-low.

This has a Christie and Hitchcocky Rear Window mystery style feel to it.The plot and solution are pretty evident because of that, but then I read and watch a lot of Christie.

Lo witnesses something after a long night of drinking. When all evidence of said event is erased it makes her look paranoid and unstable. Nobody believes her and Lo finds herself isolated with no avenue of escape.

You get the sense of claustrophobia and the frustration at the lack of contact with the outside world. How each and every person becomes a potential suspect. No one can be trusted.

It is the type of cosy mystery I enjoy. It would be interesting to see Ware create the same type of crime or mystery scenario with a fixed character as a detective, for instance.

Buy The Woman in Cabin 10 at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.