Thursday 30 April 2020

#BlogTour The Wrong Move by Jennifer Savin

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour the Wrong Move by Jennifer Savin.
About the Author
Jennifer Savin is an award-winning journalist and currently Features Writer at Cosmopolitan. Jennifer has a particular passion for investigative journalism – something which has found her in all manner of situations, from going undercover to share a tiny bedroom with a stranger for 10 days while tackling the housing crisis, to going undercover to expose the ‘landloards’ offering vulnerable women free rent in exchange for sex.

Follow @JenniSavin on Twitter, @savcity on Instagram, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Buy The Wrong Move

About the book
You Thought it was the perfect flat...
When Jessie moves into a flatshare at Maver Place, she’s finally found a decent place to live. And when she’s befriended by fellow tenants Lauren and Sofie, she’s got great flatmates to share it with. You think she’s safe. You think she can trust these people. You’re wrong. When you flatshare, how well do you really know the people that you’re living with?

I'm not sure immersing yourself into the world of flatmate banality and living restrictions is the right way to recover and rebuild your life after escaping an abusive relationship. Then again it's hard to start from the bottom and work yourself up again. Jessie is willing to ignore any doubts or concerns she might have, because she is desperate to reboot her life.

Yes, the previous tenant seems to have left under a mysterious circumstances. Some of the flatmates are peculiar and the reign of terror her ex has started against her is enough to drive anyone insane.

It's a psychological thriller that is built around a centre of chaos and paranoia. You know what they say though - it isn't paranoia if they really are out to get you.

At some points in the story you start to doubt the narrative Jessie is providing. Is she really as innocent as she appears to be, just incredibly naive or perhaps unlucky. There are certainly moments where she can be accused of being hypocritical. If she can break unspoken rules why can't others?

Although the author doesn't use an element of disbelief when it comes to the main character and the other characters, she does use it within the boundaries of the main characters psyche. The paranoia and distrust become the devil on the shoulder whispering doubts and untruths. What is truth and what is lie, which is ultimately what makes the read.

Buy The Wrong Move at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Press; pub date 23rd April 2020 |  Paperback Original | £7.99 | Also in Ebook. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday 27 April 2020

#BlogTour Marrow Jam by Susan A. King

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Marrow Jam by Susan A. King.
About the Author
Susan A King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them they have four grown-up sons.

The inspiration for her first novel, Marrow Jam, came from her long experience and observation of competitors at the local Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements.

Follow @SusanKing63 on Twitter, on Goodreads, on AmazonBuy Marrow Jam

About the book
Some people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the bakery competition at the annual village show. A small number might say, if pushed, that they find her a little on the bossy side. And one or two might just whisper the words ‘interfering’ and ‘busybody’ behind her back.

But no-one would have her down as a murderer.

So why is she being questioned in Dreighton police station after being found in the local allotments, at the dead of night, wielding a kitchen knife just yards away from where local lottery winner, Yvonne Richards, was found stabbed to death? And what does all of this have to do with Doug Sparrow’s prize marrows?

Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin. It will have you chuckling all the way through many a cup of tea.

I can imagine city dwellers think stories based on garden fetes and village competitions are rather droll and quirky. You don't know how serious these competitions get until you are there to observe it. I'll be honest I am not brave enough to take part. Oh the scathing looks, the judgement and good gosh if you're entering any competition with a sub-standard product.

Is Beattie Bradshaw a clever and manipulative killer or is she simply an innocent person who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. She might not have liked the victim, but what does that mean in the grand scheme of things? Okay she might have been found next to the body with a knife, that can happen to anyone, right? Sneaky super assassin or baking connoisseur, which is it?

It's a cosy mystery with a comedy vibe. A Father Brown without the sanctimony, meets Midsomer Murders with more determined villagers.

King writes comedy with a snarky and satirical tone to it. Often unintentionally funny at times, especially the scenes in the police station with the Beattie and DI Grayson, and at other times it has a slapsticky element to it.

It's an entertaining read with plenty of potential for further escapades with this often eccentric cast of characters.

Buy Marrow Jam at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books; pub date 27 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Eye-books.

Sunday 26 April 2020

#BlogTour The Wheelwright's Daughter by Eleanor Porter

Today it's an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Wheelwright's Daughter by Eleanor Porter.
About the Author
Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong, and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright's Daughter is her first novel.

Follow @elporterauthor on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, Buy The Wheelwright's Daughter

About the book
Can she save herself from a witch's fate?

Martha is a feisty and articulate young woman, the daughter of a wheelwright, living in a Herefordshire village in Elizabethan England. With no mother Martha's life is spent running her father's meagre household and helping out at the local school whilst longing to escape the confines and small-mindedness of a community driven by religious bigotry and poverty.

As she is able to read and is well-versed in herbal remedies she is suspected of being a witch. When a landslip occurs - opening up a huge chasm in the centre of the village - she is blamed for it and pursued remorselessly by the villagers.

But can her own wits and the love of local stablehand Jacob save her from a witch's persecution and death...

I'm going to say this right from the get  go - the title of the book may imply a certain kind of read, but it is in fact so much more.

Yes it tells the story of a convoluted romance in Elizabethan times, however it also speaks of scaremongering and profiteering in times of great unrest. Of a young woman who battles daily with the fact that being different makes her a target. Her knowledge, talents for healing, the fact she can read and write does nothing to dispel thoughtless and often dangerous rumours.

It's historical fiction, an intricately drawn picture of distorted fear and victims of group hysteria.

I really enjoyed the way Porter used the village people and their fears almost like a scythe swinging from one side to the next. Sometimes catching the crop and sometimes not. Martha doesn't comprehend the danger of gossip and the times she lives in, which when combined with her affinity to use herbs and her refusal to put up with the gossip and slurs -  makes her a prime target. The herd needs someone to blame when nature makes itself known and death comes calling.

Kudos to Porter for the ending. It's the kind you read, then read again. It's almost cruel to leave the reader with such uncertainty and yet simultaneously with complete certainty too.

This may be the author's debut novel, but by George it certainly shouldn't be her last. Porter is a writer and a storyteller, and not everyone is both.

Buy The Wheelwright's Daughter at Amazon UK on Kindle  Paperback and Audiobook or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books; pub date 21 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Boldwood Books.

Friday 24 April 2020

#BlogTour Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett.
About the Author
One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In
2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Follow @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon,Visit, Buy Sister

About the Translator
Don Bartlett completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbo and Karl Ove Knausgard. For Orenda he has translated several titles in Gunnar Staalesen's Varg Veum series: We Shall Inherit the Wind, Wolves in the Dark and the Petrona award-winning Where Roses Never Die. He has also translated two books in Kjell Ola Dahl's Oslo Detectives Series for Orenda - Faithless and The Ice Swimmer.

About the book
Oslo detective Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide…

Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.

Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the
mysterious sister, who is now on the run…

A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart, cementing Kjell Ola Dahl as one of the greatest crime writers of our generation.

I enjoyed the fact this wasn't just a crime read. In this journey of a story the author brings in politics, cultural dynamics and the eternal conflict of loss and grief. It's meticulously plotted, even if it often seems as if the reader is just along on the ride with Frølich as he tries to navigate a new relationship.

His new love interest asks him to do a friend of hers a favour, whether he can look for the sister of an asylum seeker, a sister who has changed her name and disappeared into the folds of Norway. At the time Frølich thinks there is something off about the way the young woman is unable to answer the majority of his questions, but when his search rattles some cages and has people knocking on his door he is certain there is more to the story.

It's Nordic noir, a subtle mystery and a scathing critique at times. It points a huge finger right at the inadequacies of asylum systems and the fraudulent practices supported by the complacency and indifference in our societies.

Can I just add, as a side-note, that the chapter with the gynaecologist or indeed that character in particular has left an impression. I wouldn't necessarily say a good one - more like a creepy uncomfortable experience with a deviant, who has no clue he is on the cusp of deviancy and yet firmly believes he is the overlord of female genitalia.

The author creates this plot within a plot, which doesn't necessarily bring the reader close to the solution per se, because Dahl is far too wily for that, but it is one heck of a read.

Buy Sister (Oslo Detectives #8) at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 29 Feb. 2020. Buy at

Read my review of The Courier, The Ice Swimmer and Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl.

#BlogTour Audiobook: Animal Societies by Ashley Ward

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook - Animal Societies: How Co-Operation Conquered the Natural World by Ashley Ward.

Written and narrated by Ashley Ward, Professor of Animal Behaviour at the University of Sydney, Animal Societies takes listeners around the world to give an incredible insight into the intimate worlds of social animals. Perfect for fans of David Attenborough, Animal Societies explores how the study of animals’ social behaviour can reveal much about mankind’s own behaviour, including leadership, empathy and selflessness.

About the Author
Ashley Ward is Professor of Animal Behaviour at the University of Sydney and has travelled extensively for his research all over the world – studying lions and elephants in Kenya, whales in the Azores and Tonga, crows in Iceland and Nevada, and fish in Lincolnshire.

Follow @ashleyjwward  @audibleuk on Twitter, Visit ashleyward.netBuy Animal Societies

About the book
Animal Societies is a voyage of discovery across desert, forest, tundra and ocean to uncover the many benefits and intricacies of sociality in the animal kingdom.

Taking listeners on a journey from Aysgarth Falls to the Great Barrier Reef, Animal Societies explores the intimate worlds of social animals, demonstrating how studying their social behaviour provides insights to the development of such things as empathy, altruism, leadership and language. It’s clear that animals are not so far removed from us as we might imagine

In a time where humans are struggling to navigate cityscapes, isolation and a loneliness epidemic, Ward shows us that studying the social behaviour of animals offers a window into the evolutionary basis of our own species.

Ward makes animal behavioural science both a learning and a captivating listening experience. The personal thoughts are woven seamlessly into the more serious aspect of the book, which isn't without its merits when it comes to science.

It's quite curious how humans create this invisible barrier between themselves and animals. The hierarchy of living creatures - oh and humans must be perceived as different, because our evolution suggests a superiority. Not many think of comparing us to them. How can studying animal behaviour give us insight into societal roles, communities and behaviour? For some it's hard to fathom the commonalities and comparisons.

I especially enjoyed the last chapter, which suggests that we can't simply explain certain base instincts and behavioural patterns based on the echos of our ancestral dna. The differences in species and their responses to specific stimuli can help us to understand their behaviour and in turn ours.

It's a fascinating read, and I can honestly say I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book or read by Ward for educational purposes and for a read or listen that promises an expansion of knowledge, as opposed to trying to rein it in with mothball covered theories that support antiquated thought processes.

On a final note, which takes me back to the start of this audiobook and indeed Ward's own travels. It might bring him some joy to know that where his journey was one of rejection and endurance at times, in regards to learning and sharing the same space with animals whilst doing so, that for younger generations it has become slightly easier to get access to this kind of learning and physical experience. Case in point when we spent a few weeks driving our daughter to Scarborough Sea Life Centre each day a few years ago so she could clean up smelly penguin poop and cut up baby chicks for the animals. Zoological careers and opportunities are evolving.

Buy Animal Societies at Amazon Uk  Publisher: Audible Uk; pub date 23rd April 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at

Listening Length - 13 hours and 36 minutes, Author - Ashley Ward, Narrator - Ashley Ward, Release Date - 23 April 2020, Publisher - Audible Studios, Program Type - Audiobook,Version - Unabridged, Language - English.

#BlogTour The First Date by Zara Stoneley

It's Publication Day and it's my turn on the BlogTour The First Date by Zara Stoneley.
About the Author
Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Date. Born in a small village in the UK, she wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true.

She writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say 'ahhh'.

Zara now lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Zara’s bestselling novels include 'Bridesmaids', 'No One Cancels Christmas', 'The Wedding Date', 'The Holiday Swap', 'Summer with the Country Village Vet', 'Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage' and the popular Tippermere series - 'Stable Mates', 'Country Affairs' and 'Country Rivals'.

Follow @ZaraStoneley @HarperImpulse on Twitter, on Goodreadson YouTubeon Facebookon Instagram, on Amazon, Visit, Buy The First Date

About the book
Right place. Right time.Wrong guy …

After breaking up with her childhood sweetheart, clueless dater Rosie has found herself in a boyfriend-drought. So when she finally swipes right on a guy who seems interested, she can’t wait to meet up IRL.

Until she’s left standing alone. In a bar. Ghosted.

Enter Noah. Confident, funny … and a serial first dater. Offering to give Rosie a crash course in seduction, this could be just what she needs. Until her matchmaker turns out to be the best date she’s ever had – and Rosie wonders if she wants the fake dates to be the real ones after all …

First of all a quick nod to the third party in this couple. Hugo is an adorably chaotic addition to this fast-paced, witty and often loose-tongued romcom. He deserves a little bit of recognition.

When Rosie is waiting for her date she is filled with anxiety and the fear of rejection. She tends to say the wrong thing or just get tongue-tied. Somehow being single and having to play the field isn't all it's cut out to be. Being dumped by her previous partner has really left a huge dent in her confidence.

The last thing she expects to encounter is a dating expert who is willing to teach her the ropes in man-catching, and she really isn't prepared to find him both annoying and irresistible at the same time.

It's a witty and energetic romcom, which is no surprise because it is trademark Stoneley style. She really knows how to grab the most realistic element of relationships, love and heartache and run with it. Then all of those things are combined with a pitch perfect sense of humour.

Those of us who remember the olden days, before mobile phones, Tinder and internet dating probably feel bad for 21st century daters. It might look so much easier, faster and there are so many people to choose from. But it isn't. Nowadays it's easy to judge, reject and go on to the next without a thought to the person they have just rejected or ghosted. Old-school meant having to really getting to know someone face-to-face.

Once again the author manages to create a delightful and entertaining read.

Buy The First Date at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: One More Chapter; pub date 24 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Bridesmaids and No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley.

Thursday 23 April 2020

#BlogTour Broken Silence by Liz Mistry

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Broken Silence, the second part in the DS Nikki Parekh series, by Liz Mistry.

About the Author
Liz Mistry has signed a three book deal for a new series with HQ Digital, a Harper Collins imprint. The first in the series was Last Request, which was released in October 2019. Broken Silence is the second book and will be released April 2020. The series features a feisty mixed-race DS called Nikki Parekh and is set in Bradford.

Follow @LizMistryAuthor on Twitter,  on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.comBuy Broken Silence

About the book
When DS Felicity Springer is reported missing after a police training conference, the countdown to find her begins…

On her way home after an exhausting weekend, with colleagues she can’t wait to escape, Felicity notices something odd about the white van in front of her. A hand has punched through the car’s rear light and is frantically waving, trying to catch her attention.

Desperate to help, Felicity dials 999 and calls it in. But whilst on the phone, she loses control of the car on the icy road, crashing straight into the vehicle ahead. Pinned in the seat and unable to move, Felicity feels a sudden whoosh of cold air across her face. Someone has opened the passenger door… and they have a gun.

With Felicity missing and no knowledge of whether she is dead or alive, DS Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik race to find their friend and colleague.

But Felicity was harbouring a terrible secret, and with her life now hanging in the balance, Nikki can only hope that someone will come forward and break the silence…

The tables are turned in this second part of the DS Nikki Parekh series, both of which can be read as standalone crime reads. Where DS Springer was very much the enemy in Last Request and almost obsessively determined to bring Parekh to heel and perhaps even destroy her career - this time it is up to Parekh to find and if possible save Springer.

It's almost ironic how Springer starts to make choices based on what she thinks Parekh might do in a similar situation. The other woman, the colleague she has treated with disdain becomes the person to emulate. Strength, determination and an incalculable will to survive the ordeal are what keep Stringer fighting. If she survives, will it change the way she perceives and interacts with Parekh?

It's an urban crime read with a fresh gritty feel. The main characters says what she feels and sometimes she feels like she doesn't give two monkeys about a woman who tried to destroy her, but now needs her help.

Mistry mixes modern crime with the challenges of gender inequality in the police force. The treatment of those who don't fit into the men's club idea of what a cop should be, and the women who help to perpetuate the problem. Acting like one of the boys doesn't mean you are one.

I have to say kudos to the sub-plot that flows subtly along with the main one. The indifference, the shame, the audacity of the event and the way each individual responds to it was an interesting way to solidify certain points.

Buy Broken Silence at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for an other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 24 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Last Request (DS Nikki Parekh #2) by Liz Mistry.

Tuesday 21 April 2020

#BlogTour The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott.
About the Author
Rachel Abbott began her career as an independent author in 2011, with Only the Innocent, which became a No.1 bestseller on Kindle, topping the chart for four weeks.

Since then, she has published eight further psychological thrillers and sold over 3 million copies. She is one of the top-selling authors of all time in the UK Kindle store, and her novels have been translated into 21 languages.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction.

Follow @RachelAbbott on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit and rachelabbottwriter.comBuy The Murder Game

About the book
A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas' wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea. But no one was married that day.

Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?

He's told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin. What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what's going to happen when this terrible game is over?

A year ago a group of friends and plus-ones gathered to celebrate the nuptials of a very close friend, but things didn't go exactly to plan and end with an unexpected tragedy.

Now everyone is back again to 'celebrate' the one-year anniversary of the what? The non-wedding, the unexpected death or the secrets that could potentially destroy one person after the other. Lucas might have the reputation of being a good guy and tight friend, and yet this whole charade suggests otherwise.

What's really interesting is the way suspicion, paranoia and lack of trust seeps into relationships and continues to crack solid walls as they all enter into the same situation that caused the cracks in the first place. It remains to be seen whether those who arrive together will leave together.

This book felt slightly different from Abbott's usual work - in a good way though. It has a Poirot Marple Christie feel to it, especially the whole murder game aspect of the read. Setting the stage, interrogating the alleged suspects and leading to a crescendo of a solution - or not.

It's a psychological thriller with the vibe of a murder mystery. Abbott doesn't disappoint when it comes to delivering a good read. The ending isn't entirely clear-cut either, which just adds to the flavour of this particular crime read. Very much grey and shaded areas, as opposed to black or white, but that's for me to know and you to find out.

Buy The Murder Game at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Wildfire | pub date 16th April 2020 | Hardback | £12.99. Buy at  Amazon com.

Read my reviews of Come a Little Closer, Right Behind You, And So it Begins, The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott.

#Blogtour Silent Cry by Jenny O'Brien

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Silent Cry by Jenny O'Brien.

About the Author
Born in Dublin, Jenny O'Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.

She's an avid reader and book blogger in addition to being a previous RoNA judge. In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You'll be pleased to note she won't be entering Bake-Off. She's also an all-year-round sea swimmer.

Follow @ScribblerJB on Twitter, On Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on Instagram, Visit, Buy Silent Cry

About the book
Alys is fine. Don’t try to find us.
Five years ago, Izzy Grant’s boyfriend Charlie took their newborn daughter Alys out for a drive.

They never came back.

After years of waiting, Izzy has almost given up hoping that they’re still alive – until a note is pushed through her door telling her they’re fine, not to look for them. Suddenly the case is top priority again, and Izzy is swarmed with faces from the past: the detective who was first on the scene to help; an old friend who vanished not long after Alys and Charlie.

Izzy doesn’t know who she can trust, who is sending her notes, where Charlie and Alys might be. Her only ally is DC Gabriella Darin, recently transferred from Cardiff and fleeing a painful past of her own.

Gaby knows something doesn’t fit with the case, and she knows Izzy won’t rest until she finds out what really happened to her daughter. Could someone she knew and trusted really have taken Alys from her?

Wherever Alys and Charlie are, Gaby is determined to find them, no matter what it takes. Somewhere in Izzy’s past is a clue, if Gaby can only find it…

At the most vulnerable, confusing and happiest time in her life the last thing Izzy expects is the ultimate betrayal. The kind of betrayal that never lets go of your heart, mind or soul. Five years ago, shortly after giving birth to her daughter Alys, Izzy's boyfriend Charlie disappears with the baby. The only thing left in this mysterious wake of destruction is a postcard 'Alys is fine. Don’t try to find us' -that's all.

No words of explanation. No trail left to follow. All there is are the suspicions and conspiracy theories of a distraught mother. DC Gabriella Darin is the only person who seems to be interested in helping Izzy find the truth.

The author gives an accurate and heartbreaking account of what it must be like for victims of missing loved ones. The people who are relegated to cold case file status, because the clues and the trails run cold. None of that changes the way they feel about the missing or their need to find them.

It's a psychological thriller built on constantly rising emotional tension.

O'Brien builds her story on the complacency and assumptions of her readers. We expect, so we assume. Our minds create the rest of the narrative around the few details and minimal information we receive at the beginning. Full steam ahead towards  - and that's when we end up in the ocean waiting for someone to throw us a lifeline, because the plot gets turned upside down.

Buy Silent Cry at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 17 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Stepsister by Jenny O'Brien.

Monday 20 April 2020

#BlogTour Power Play by Tony Kent

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Power Play by Tony Kent.
About the Author
Tony Kent is a 40-year-old criminal barrister who draws on his legal experience to inspire and bring unusual accuracy to his thrillers. Long ranked as a 'leader in his field', Tony has prosecuted and defended the full range of criminal trials. He now specialises in the defense of serious crimes such as kidnap, murder, armed robbery, extortion and high-value fraud. A regular at London's Old Bailey, Tony's case history includes many high-profile, nationally reported trials. Before his legal career Tony represented England as a heavyweight boxer and won a host of national amateur titles.

Follow @TonyKent_Writes on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit, Buy Power Play

About the book
When a plane explodes over the Atlantic Ocean, killing hundreds of passengers, including controversial US presidential candidate Dale Victor, it appears to be a clear-cut case of terrorism. The suspect has even confessed to the bombing. But as criminal barrister Michael Devlin is about to discover, everything is not as it seems.

Also suspecting there are other forces at work, intelligence agent Joe Dempsey is driven to investigate. Who would have wanted Victor out of the way - and would commit mass murder to do it? As the evidence begins to mount, everything seems to point to the US government itself, all the way to the top. And now someone is determined to stop Dempsey and Devlin from discovering the truth. At any cost.

With countless more lives on the line, Dempsey must find a way to prove who's pulling the strings, and free the White House from the deadly grip that has taken hold of power.

This is the third book of the Killer Intent series, but can be read as a standalone novel.

The read starts off with a tragic disaster, a well-planned disaster. The kind that often gets swept under the carpet as an unfortunate accident, but is in reality a political chess move. Why would someone voluntarily own up to being the perpetrator?

That's exactly what Michael Devlin is confused about. The suspect doesn't appear to be the type to plan and execute an assassination, but then is there really a type? Instead the man appears to be living in complete terror and fear, but fear of whom?

Devlin and Dempsey are on either sides of the scale when it comes to justice and retribution. Where Dempsey is willing to sacrifice everything to get the truth, including putting his own life in danger, Devlin is driven by the need to keep his loved ones safe.

This lack of equality doesn't stop either of them from digging into the motivation and persons behind the atrocity who are willing to kill the innocent to achieve their goal.

It's a fast-paced political and legal thriller.

Kent delivers a ruthless, brutal read, which plays with the question of guilt - the different shades of truth. It's an interesting premise given we live in a world where plenty of controversial political figures have fallen prey to accidents and convenient deaths, so Kent doesn't really have to dig too far into fiction for inspiration.

Buy Power Play at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Elliott & Thompson; pub date 16 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Sunday 19 April 2020

#BlogTour Landsliding by Mandy Jameson

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Landsliding by Mandy Jameson.
About the Author
Originally from Manchester, Mandy Jameson spent ten years living in southwest France where Landsliding, her first novel, was written with the encouragement of a prolific writing group.

Now settled in Sussex with her daughter, her passions include football, chocolate and walking on the Downs. She is working on her second novel.

Follow on Goodreads, on Instagram, Visit pifflepages.comBuy Landsliding

About the book
We all have secrets, but some of our secrets are darker than others...

When Julia’s husband leaves her, and their small son Matty, to live with another woman, her friends – especially Caroline and Vick – rally round to help. But when Julia starts a new relationship after a chance meeting, her friends are not quite as supportive.

Julia sees Brendan, the quietly spoken IT guy who comes round to fix her computer, as a loving and protective man and – as time passes – a potential father figure for Matty. Caroline and Vick, on the other hand, see him as jealous, controlling and potentially dangerous. He appears to be a man with a secret past.

What her friends don’t know is that Julia has secrets of her own and, if they get out, they will almost certainly shatter her fragile domestic bliss.

After being in a long-term relationship for nearly two decades it's fair to say that Julia is perhaps vulnerable to the dangers of meeting someone in this era of technology. Instead of listening for any potential alarm bells she jumps straight into a new relationship. Brendan seems like a nice bloke, but there is just something off about him.

What's with the almost obsessive way he is trying to squirrel himself into Julia's good books and her those of her son? Is there a coercive element to this new relationship? The subtle way he is trying to disrupt certain well-established friendships to ensure the focus is on him and only him.

It's a domestic thriller - women's fiction with a tense and dark undercurrent.

You should always give yourself enough time to not only grieve your last relationship, but also spend time by yourself without a partner. When you have evaluated what went wrong and what you would like going forward, then try and meet someone new.

Jameson captures that element of relationships quite well - the past influencing the present when it comes to romance. The way any baggage we carry with us is always carried by each person in the new relationship. That can make it become toxic, make the atmosphere feel burdened and ultimately make it harder to be happy.

Buy Landsliding at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books; pub date 13 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr, and it's also the last day of the tour.

About the Author
Damian Barr is an award-winning writer and columnist. Maggie & Me, his memoir about coming of age and coming out in Thatcher's Britain, was a BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’, Sunday Times ‘Memoir of the Year’ and won the Paddy Power Political Books 'Satire' Award and Stonewall Writer of the Year Award. Damian writes columns for the Big Issue and High Life and often appears on BBC Radio 4. He is creator and host of his own Literary Salon that premieres work from established and emerging writers. You Will Be Safe Here is his debut novel. Damian Barr lives in Brighton.

Follow @damian_barr on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit damianbarr.comBuy You Will Be Safe Here

About the book
A beautiful and heart-breaking story set in South Africa where two mothers - a century apart - must fight for their sons, unaware their fates are inextricably linked.

Orange Free State, 1901. At the height of the Boer War, Sarah van der Watt and her six-year-old son Fred can only watch as the British burn their farm. The polite invaders cart them off to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp promising you will be safe here.
 Johannesburg, 2010. Sixteen-year-old Willem is an outsider who just wants to be left alone with his Harry Potter books and Britney, his beloved pug. Worried he’s turning out soft, his Ma and her new boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Camp, where they ‘make men out of boys.’ Guaranteed.

The red earth of the veldt keeps countless secrets whether beaten by the blistering sun or stretching out beneath starlit stillness. But no secret can stay buried forever.

The common thread between the two stories are mothers and what they are willing to do to help their sons survive. Sometimes those decisions are wrong and sometimes you have do the last thing you expected to save them. And as a child you believe your mother is making the right choice for you. From a mother trying to save her starving child in a war torn South Africa or a mother wanting to make 'a man' out of her son.

Did British colonisation lay the groundwork for apartheid in South Africa? A question often posed, especially whilst discussing the history and repercussions of white men on that particular continent. It's easy to forget that the Cape Colony was under the rule of the Dutch before falling to the British Crown - then Dutch and then British again, which should explain a lot of the conflict between the Boers and the British Crown.

The systemic racism already existed between the white South Africans and the indigenous Africans. The Dutch took their land, established a servant master system, which was powered by eugenic beliefs and religious sanctimony.

It's easier to understand why many of the downtrodden chose to help the British during the Boer war and why the Boers consider any hands-upper a traitor. Simultaneously there is a lack of documentation or photographic evidence to show the atrocities and number of victims when it comes to black concentration camps the British set up. Conveniently the atrocities against the white Boers is documented well enough to teach further generations the same systemic racism and hatred, instead of teaching them not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

It's a fascinating combination of historical and political fiction based on facts.

Barr takes an often forgotten period in history and uses it as a tool to inform and entertain. It's an engrossing read, which brings many questions to the surface. The tidal wave of destruction left in the wake of oppression, war and disastrous war tactics.

Willem's story is actually worthy of a book by itself and so is the Boer refugee or containment camp story. Together the two give an overall glimpse of a destructive and neglectful family pattern passed on from generation to generation.

Buy You Will Be Safe Here at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; pub date 4 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Saturday 18 April 2020

#BlogTour The Cecily Taylor Series - In Over Her Head by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Today it's the The Cecily Taylor Series BlogTour and time for the second book in the series, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety by Krysten Lindsay Hager.

Click here and read all about book one - Can Dreams Come True.
About the Author
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.

Follow @KrystenLindsay on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit, Buy In Over Her Head

About the book
Cecily wants a big life, but can she handle it? Cecily feels like she has it all: great best friends, the beginnings of a career as a model/actress, and she's dating her favorite singer, Andrew Holiday. Then Cecily's best friend Lila begins to ditch her every time Lila's boyfriend calls. Cecily feels lost, but she and Andrew begin connecting more and she's never been in a relationship where she felt so understood. Andrew even begins to confide in her about his anxiety.

Soon Cecily experiences her own anxiety on a magazine photo shoot, but she manages to impress the magazine staff. Just when it seems like all her dreams are coming true, everything comes crashing down when a photo of Andrew with another girl appears online. He swears nothing happened, but Cecily is crushed. She feels like she's lost two of the people closest to her. Was her perfect relationship real or was she in over her head?

This is the second book in the Cecily Taylor series, and although both can be read as standalone novels I would suggest reading both to get the full gist of the romance.

In this one Cecily has to come to terms with not only having a relationship with a celebrity but also keeping it a secret. The secrecy is probably what makes her more paranoid and susceptible to betrayal.

Hager makes a nice little subtle reference to the extremely toxic atmosphere in the world of fashion and modelling. Okay you're right, it's more of a slap up the side of the head with a wet kipper than subtle.

No wonder young people, especially young women end up with eating disorders, self-esteem and mental health issues whilst working in certain industries. Not one thought is given to the repercussions of words, rumours and mindless insults spoken without regard for often very impressionable people. Perhaps a good reason to ensure the right kind of representation and support if entering industries connected with fame and fortunes.

Does this step, albeit a tiny one, into Andrew's world give Cecily a different perspective or rather does Andrew view her in a different light?

It's a young adult romance - a story built with bricks of insecurities and cemented by the drama that drives the young hormonal ego. Hager delivers a read that can be read by ages at the beginning of the young adult bracket and an open-ended age audience.

Buy In Over My Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Clean Reads; pub date 3 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of book one in the Cecily Taylor Series - Can Dreams Come True by Krysten Lindsay Hager.

Thursday 16 April 2020

Ashes by Christopher de Vinck

About the book
Belgium, July 1939: Simone Lyon is the daughter of a Belgium national hero, the famous General Joseph Lyon. Her best friend Hava Daniels, is the eldest daughter of a devout Jewish family. Despite growing up in different worlds, they are inseparable.

But when, in the spring of 1940, Nazi planes and tanks begin bombing Brussels, their resilience and strength are tested. Hava and Simone find themselves caught in the advancing onslaught and are forced to flee.

In an emotionally-charged race for survival, even the most harrowing horrors cannot break their bonds of love and friendship. The two teenage girls, will see their innocence fall, against the ugly backdrop of a war dictating that theirs was a friendship that should never have been.

Belgium 1939, Simone is the daughter of a war hero. Her father is General Joseph Lyon, his reputation proceeds him and his daughter is treated with respect because she is his offspring. Her friend Hava comes from a devout Jewish family. That isn't something that bothers either of them until rumours start trickling through about the way the Germans are treating the Jews. Suddenly the girls are getting different reactions, depending on who they speak to. Slowly but surely the hatred and importance of not associating with the Nazi's enemy number one is seeping into their daily life.

When the Germans invade Belgium Hava is separated from her family, Simone's father is off to do his duty, which leaves both young girls alone and running away from the invading force. They nearly make it to some semblance of freedom, although that is debatable when the invaders are coming from all directions, when something terrible happens.

Simone forgets the promise she made to Hava and in a way she forgets her too. The war rages and life rages on. Survival of self becomes the most important factor in occupied Belgium.

One of the elements of the story I found really interesting was the way Simone reacted or rather her lack of reaction when it come to Hava being Jewish. Almost a denial that there is a difference between them for some people, even if it is one that is forced upon everyone during the Nazi regime. To Simone they are friends, sisters - they are the same. Unfortunately the truth is they are, but it becomes irrelevant during the war.

This is one of those stories that makes your heart weep a little, despite the inspirational message woven into the fabric of the tale. De Vinck gives both sides of the story, which includes the trauma and the truth, albeit it sometimes an uncomfortable one.

Buy/Pre-order Ashes at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Harper Inspire; pub date 18 Aug. 2020 - Kindle - pub date Paperback - 20.Aug 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow Christopher de Vinck on Goodreads,