Thursday 27 July 2023

#Blogtour Zero Days by Ruth Ware

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Zero Days by Ruth Ware.

About the Author

Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs Westaway, The Turn of the Key and One by One have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times. Her books have been optioned for both film and TV, and she is published in more than 40 languages. Ruth lives near Brighton with her family. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ruthwarewriter or at

About the book

International bestseller Ruth Ware returns with this adrenaline-fueled thriller about a woman in a race against time to clear her name and find her husband’s killer.

Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband Gabe are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their only suspect – her.

On the run and out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the truth in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from 'one of the best thriller writers around today' Ruth Ware. 


Whilst the story starts with a Mission Impossible kind of vibe, it soon turns into a fight for survival after Jack finds her life ripped apart by a vicious murder. A murder the police is convinced she committed or rather they appear to be fitting all the facts around the scenario they find the most plausible.

The police become the enemy instead of the people invested in finding the truth and Jack struggles with the idea that her innocence isn't as clear to everyone else, as it is to her. Eventually she realises she has to pull up her socks and fight to prove she isn't a killer, and find out who killed the man she loved.

I'm intrigued by the way this author always comes at their stories from a different angle - a variation in the crime. Sometimes locked room mystery, psychological thriller, dark domestic thriller and tech thriller. Never boxed into a niche and always willing to explore the boundaries of the genre. 

This is a combination of domestic and tech thriller. It has the emotional drive of the first and the technological know-how of the latter. The story is a two-tier experience with the same goal in both instances - the destruction of an allegedly grieving widow. 

It's a fast-paced crime read, a multi-layered experience when it comes to crime, guilt and the question of accountability.

Buy Zero Days at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon and Schuster; pub date 6 July 2023 | Hardback | £16.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

#Blogtour Eternals by Lisa Scottoline

It's my turn on the Blogtour Eternal by Lisa Scottoline.

About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is a #1 bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of 33 novels. Lisa's books are book-club favorites, and she and her daughter Francesca Serritella have hosted an annual Big Book Club Party for over a thousand readers at her Pennsylvania farm, for the past twelve years. Lisa has been President of Mystery Writers of America and she reviews fiction and non-fiction for the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

She also writes a weekly column with her daughter for The Philadelphia Inquirer entitled Chick Wit, a witty take on life from a woman's perspective, which have been collected in a bestselling series of humorous memoirs. Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she taught Justice & Fiction. She has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives with an array of disobedient pets, and wouldn't have it any other way. Follow @LisaScottoline on Twitter

About the book

What war destroys, only love can heal. - Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and a doctor. Their friendship blossoms to love, with both Sandro and Marco hoping to win Elisabetta's heart. But in the autumn of 1937, all of that begins to change as Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy's Fascists with Hitler's Nazis and altering the very laws that govern Rome. In time, everything that the three hold dear--their families, their homes, and their connection to one another--is tested in ways they never could have imagined.

As anti-Semitism takes legal root and World War II erupts, the threesome realizes that Mussolini was only the beginning. Against this backdrop, the intertwined fates of Elisabetta, Marco, Sandro, and their families will be decided, in a heartbreaking story of both the best and the worst that the world has to offer.

Unfolding over decades, Eternal is a tale of loyalty and loss, family and food, love and war--all set in one of the world's most beautiful cities at its darkest moment. This moving novel will be forever etched in the hearts and minds of readers.


The author not only gives an excellent view of the slowly encroaching changes, as the future horror of the Nazi era is foreshadowed in small moments and reflected in different ways for the three main characters. Each one of them has their own burdens to carry, but some of them find their lives systematically eradicated for merely being the wrong kind of person.

What is really well described is the way the Jewish people especially, were in a state of disbelief to the point of not really wanting to believe the society, friends, neighbours and colleagues suddenly viewed them as enemies of the state. More than that, they were portrayed as evil incarnate and the root of things wrong. The good citizens who fought for their country, won accolades, were scientific pillars of their countries. Why would they suddenly fear the people who had previously sang their praises.

Why would men-in-arms, veterans be completely oblivious to the fact their brothers in combat now view them as the enemy. Mussolini's homegrown fascism is seen as a completely different entity to the fuelled hatred of the Nazi regime. You know what they say  - first they came for...and then...

As the division grows and the hatred spreads the lives and relationships of Marco, Sandro and Elisabetta are changed forever.

It's a coming-of-age story embedded in one of the most disruptive periods of history with richly drawn friendships, and the emotional minefields of young people laid bare. The norm becomes a new reality, a state of fear and constant betrayal is the new friend on their shoulders. This author knows how to tug on the heartstrings and keep readers captivated.               

Buy Eternal at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎No Exit Press; pub date 9 Mar. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday 24 July 2023

#Blogtour Karakorum by Don McVey

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Karakorum by Don McVey.

About the Author

Don McVey has worked for over 20 years in the Film and TV industry. After winning the H.G. Wells award for his short story 'Transference', he decided it was time to get round to writing a novel. His debut novel Karakorum was released in May 2023. Follow @donmcvey on Twitter

About the book

Sorcha makes a humble living playing the deadly game of Scratch, on the outer edge of Kara's limits. Something highly unusual for one so young. Scouted by a stranger from another faction, a chain of fatal events are set in motion when she discovers a strange anomaly hidden deep within the game arena. Pursued by nefarious powers, she must solve an ancient riddle, buried in the subconscious of man.

To find the truth, Sorcha must travel to the heart of Karakorum, an endless shanty town, separated by borders of assimilated minds known as labs. The Modor's words are the only laws the inhabitants know, a new religion based on the sacrosanct Sapiens gene. A dark period in the past, known only as The Wipe, threatens to repeat, something that would mean annihilation for every connected citizen. Unknown to her, it is Sorcha who may lead to their ultimate demise.


Sorcha becomes the focus of a hunt when a game she plays comes to the attention of the powers that be or the powers that think they are and should be. The hunt is on for an anomaly, for something or someone who is an unusual blip in a very large construct. It's the beginning of an awakening and not just for Sorcha.

With this kind of complex speculative fiction that weaves a variety of genres into a newly shaped sub-genre it's great when the end result is a driven and riveting read. I really enjoyed it. There is always a certain moment in more complex dystopian, speculative and sci-fi stories when you realise someone has their ducks in a row or you've stumbled upon erratic ducks with no structure or point of destination. This author successfully manages to create their vision for the reading audience in a way that delivers societal structures, sci-fi, dystopian nightmares and how religious or spiritual concepts are used to control in every scenario.

It's difficult to give comparisons so readers have an idea what kind of read they are in for. It has the futuristic aspect of Matrix without the jazz hands, the dowdy shanty town like structure of a densely populated ant colony with the infrastructure of an interconnected hive.  

Will there be a second book - a further venture into the world of Karakorum? Some of us really need to know if this is a standalone novel. A great read.

Buy Karakorum at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Independent; pub date 29 April 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday 19 July 2023

#Blogtour Salt and Skin by Eliza Henry-Jones

It's my turn on the Blogtour Salt and Skin by Eliza Henry-Jones.

About the Author

Eliza Henry-Jones is a writer and academic based on a little flower farm in Victoria, Australia. Her previous novels have been listed for multiple literary awards including the ABIA, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and QLD Literary Awards. Her work has also been published widely, appearing in places such as the Guardian, Country Style, The Big Issue and The Age. Eliza has qualifications in psychology as well as grief, loss and trauma counselling. Follow @elizahenryjones on Twitter

About the book

Grief-stricken and on the verge of a breakdown, photographer Luda Managan leaves Australia for a commission, bringing her two teenage children to a remote, weather-ravaged but beautiful Scottish island.

Luda, isolated from her two resentful teenagers, turns her attention to the records from the 17th century island witch hunts and the fragmented life stories of the executed women. Min, her daughter, restless and strong, tries to fill up the space in their family left by her father. She soon finds comfort in both the sea and an unlikely friendship. But the only thing that beautiful and gifted Darcy cares about is getting marks high enough for entry into university – one very, very far away from his mother. Until he meets the wild foundling, Theo, who slowly self-destructing in a community that is both protective and violent towards him.

But when a tragic accident unleashes ghosts and the echoes of long-ago violence and betrayal into their lives, the Managans must confront their unspoken histories in order to survive.


I loved the way this started deep and just kept getting deeper. It's an intricately drawn picture of family structures, especially when they are redefined after a tragic loss, perhaps more so when the death in question is in a cloud of doubt.

Luda takes her children, Min and Darcy, about as far away as she can from the place they know as home. To put the tragedy of their father's death behind them, to give her children time to focus on something other than disruption, to push her career forward - yes, a bit of a contradiction. Luda is certainly that, and her choices can be controversial.

In fact the choices she makes when it comes to her career can be narcissistic, as can she, if truth be told. What kind of mother exploits her own child in the name of notoriety, then gaslights them into thinking they are selfish to not want to save the world.

Perhaps her lack of acknowledgement of her own emotions is what makes her susceptible to the aura, the past, the inexplicable that lurks. Are the voices of the past and guilt-laden history calling to her?

It's a fascinating read. The characters are depicted with an incredible depth and nuance, the writing enhances how powerful the story is conceptually. 

It felt as if the ending wasn't an accurate reflection of the entirety of the story. A little cut-off, blunt and without the sharp double-edged sword that's wielded throughout. Instead the mystic nature of the past, the ghosts and the gothic vibe take over, as it slowly envelopes the characters and the setting to make a last stand. 

Buy Salt and Skin at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: September Publishing; pub date 6th July 2023 | £12.99 | Paperback Original. Buy at Amazon com

Tuesday 18 July 2023

#Blogtour The Unbreakable Heart of Oliva Denaro by Viola Ardone

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Unbreakable Heart of Oliva Denaro by Viola Ardone, translated by Clarissa Botsford.

About the Author

Viola Ardone was born in Naples in 1974. A high school Latin and Italian teacher, she holds a degree in literature and worked in academic publishing. She is the author of two previous novels in Italian, La ricetta del cuore in subbuglio and Una rivoluzione sentimentale. Follow @viola_ardone on Twitter

About the Translator

Follow @botsford_cla on Twitter, Visit

About the book

From the internationally bestselling author of The Children’s Train comes an unforgettable coming-of-age novel, set in 1960s Sicily and based on a true story, of how a young Sicilian girl defied centuries old tradition to win the right to control her own life.

As provincial Sicily bursts into life with the jaunty hum of pop music and the heady scent of wild jasmine, fifteen-year-old Oliva Denaro dares to challenge convention, ignoring the taunts of peers, her mother’s scolds, and her own changing body. Spirited and carefree, she loves to run until her lungs burst: to feel the strength of her lithe limbs, to relish the freedom she cherishes, to honor the friends forced by propriety to conform. Though she knows she cannot stop growing up, Oliva resists the future. To her, becoming a woman means denying oneself.

But adulthood comes all too quickly when the baker’s son sets his sights on her. Offered a blood orange, Oliva—haunted by her mother’s warning, “a girl who smiles has already said yes”—spurns the fruit. Yet, this act sets into motion an unwanted courtship that will force Oliva to fight for the right to choose her own path, even though the odds of winning are steep. While America and Europe are in the throes of social change, Sicily fiercely clings to its rigid traditions, including the custom of fuitina -  by which kidnappings could be disguised as elopements– which is accepted and enshrined in law. Oliva’s battle for independence is based on the real-life story that would ultimately rock Italy–capturing the attention of both the Pope and the nation’s president—and transform life for all Italians.

The Unbreakable Heart of Oliva Denaro is a lyrical tale of staggering beauty. Viola Ardone beautifully evokes a land and its people, customs, and passions, and breathes life into an unforgettable girl in all her intensity, desperation, perseverance, and bravery. Alternating between the lighthearted and the tragic, it is a classic coming-of-age novel—powerful, spellbinding, and liberating. - Translated from the Italian by Clarissa Botsford.


I think what captured the heart of the systemic patriarchal attitudes and misogynistic slant towards girls - even by the women who push those same values and attitudes on the younger generations - is the way Oliva is taught to hate her own womanhood. To fear the change, to work actively towards her biology and inevitable hormonal changes, because it means the beginning of the real oppression.

This is such a heartbreaking and yet simultaneously a poignant representation of consent. How the words and language we use to convey a lack of consent have been misappropriated and misconstrued to realign with the agendas and needs of the appropriators of this word - those who think there is no such thing as consent for women and girls. 

This is the most important element to remember, especially as we are now faced with the further eradication of women's rights, the violence against women of all ages is on the rise, and any steps forward in bodily autonomy we have taken have and are being erased.

It would also be a mistake to think that this fictional story, which is based on a true one, is a thing of the past. There are certain countries where the kidnappings of 'potential brides' are still a common custom.

It's a really good read. Kudos to the translator by the way, they really captured the voice, tone and heart of the story the author wanted to gift to readers.

Buy The Unbreakable Heart of Oliva Denaro at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Harpervia pub date 9 May 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour After Death by Dean Koontz

It's my turn on the Blogtour After Death by Dean Koontz.

About the Author

Dean Koontz is the author of many #1 bestsellers. His books have sold over five hundred million copies in thirty-eight languages, and The Times has called him a ‘literary juggler’. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, and their golden retriever, Elsa. Follow @deankoontz on Twitter

About the book

Michael Mace, head of security at a top-secret research facility, is amazed to open his eyes in a makeshift morgue twenty-four hours after an event in which everyone perished – including him and his best friend, Shelby Shrewsberry.

Having awakened with an extraordinary ability unlike anything he – or anyone else – has ever imagined, Michael now finds that he is capable of being as elusive as a ghost. He sets out to honour his late friend by using his new-found gifts to help Nina Dozier and her son, John, whom Shelby greatly admired.

Although what Michael does for Nina is life changing, his actions also evoke the wrath of John’s father, a member of one of the most violent street gangs in Los Angeles. But an even greater threat is descending: the Internal Security Agency’s most vicious assassin, Durand Calaphas. Calaphas will stop at nothing to get his man. And if Michael dies twice, he will not live a third time.

From the tarnished glamour of Beverly Hills to the streets of South Central to a walled estate in Rancho Santa Fe, only Michael can protect Nina and John – and ensure that light survives in a rapidly darkening world.


There is a lot going on in this story, but it's Koontz, ergo you kind of expect the creative drive and often wild exploration of a variety of ideas. Science meets speculation, injustice meets a strong sense of justice, and dodging death means death is forever on your heels.

Behind or hovering in the background is the sub-premise upon which the author is driving a lot of the stories - the futuristic collaboration of gene therapy and nanobot technology - The Singularity. In this story it's melded with the concepts that wander into speculative fiction, perhaps even bordering a deeper understanding of life and after-life.

I think the main character had a little bit of an Equalizer meets Robin Hood, as Michael steps accidentally into the role of an settling scores and making things a little more equal for those on dangerous positions.

It's gritty, sometimes crude depending on the character, which is a reflection of the gang and prison culture featured in the story. It also has the potential for further books or explorations - speculative is the gift that keeps on giving.

Buy After Death at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Thomas and Mercer, 18th July 2023 - Hardcover | Kindle Ebook | Audiobook. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday 17 July 2023

#Blogtour The Water Child by Mathew West

It's an absolute pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Water Child by Mathew West.

About the Author

Mathew West grew up in Aberdeenshire (and very briefly New Zealand). After a spell as a music journalist he now lives and works in Edinburgh as a civil servant. A keen horror film buff, his novels are born out of love of classic gothic fiction seen through modern eyes. Follow @mathewoneT on Twitter

About the book

What the sea takes for its own can never return… - Portugal, 1750s. Cecilia Lamb knew being a sea captain’s wife would mean a life of waiting and watching the horizon for her husband’s ship. But John has been gone longer than any voyage should last. Everyone else has given up hope of his return. But she knows in her bones that he is not lost. Gone, but not lost.

Barely able to tear her eyes from the shimmering sea, she feels drawn to the sun-baked shoreline, and amid the bustle of the docks she feels certain that her husband will come back to her. Though along with that feeling is another sense – that something darker is coming. As she sickens, she doesn’t know what the next tide will bring – but she begins to fear as well as crave her husband’s homecoming.

Soon, even on dry land, Cecilia can feel the pull of the ocean at her feet, the movement of the tides within her. Warning, seduction or promise, she cannot tell, but one thing is certain – the sea holds many secrets, and some of them are too powerful to ever be drowned.


Cecilia Lamb is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the absence of her husband John. Tales of seafarers seem to forget the women and children they leave behind for months often even years in one go. It's like being a widow with a husband who is very much still alive, at least Cecilia is absolutely convinced that that he is alive even if those around her think he has long settled in the murky depths of the deep seas.

As more time passes Cecilia finds herself drawn to the seas, sometimes it feels as if the water talks to her and has made a connection to her soul. It is merely a question of how far into the depths she wants to let herself be pulled in order to satisfy her need for answers. Society frowns upon her lack of restraint and after a while there is a question of her lack of stability.

Cecilia remains fast in her belief that her husband will return to her, despite the odds being neither in her favour nor the fate of her husband and his crew. Simultaneously she can also feel something wicked this way coming. Not what or whom, just a sense of impending darkness.

One of the many aspects I enjoyed about the story was the sub-story of what certain actions or choices can do to the character, personality and disposition of a person. When their choice creates such a hole in their moral fabric that they are no longer the person they used to be.

Loved it! I do enjoy a nice piece of magical realism, especially when it is well done. The author knows exactly how to balance the reality in the fiction, combine it with historical facts here and there, then weave the magical realism in and out of the story like a potter's hands moulding and shaping the object of their creativity. The result is a captivating reading experience.

Buy The Water Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperNorth; pub date 25 May 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday 13 July 2023

#Blogtour The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse

 It's an absolute pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse.

About the Author

Kate Mosse is an award-winning novelist, playwright, essayist and non-fiction writer. Her ten novels and short-story collections, include Number One bestselling series The Joubert Family Chronicles, following The Burning Chambers and The City of Tears, which have together sold more than 400,000 copies. The Ghost Ship is the third book in the series.

Her most recent feminist non-fiction book, Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries: How Women (Also) Built the World (October 2022), is now the basis for a one-woman theatre show, touring UK venues from 28 February-12 April 2023, in which Mosse will celebrate the lives of extraordinary, brilliant, trail-blazing and heroic women from throughout history whose names deserve to be better known. 

Kate Mosse’s new novel is an epic tale of courageous women battling to survive in a man’s world, of vengeance and breathtaking peril on the High Seas, of long-buried family secrets and a love story spanning three generations. The Ghost Ship will be launched in hardback, audio and eBook by Mantle (Pan Macmillan) in the UK and by Minotaur in the US on 6 July 2023. Follow @katemosse on Twitter

About the book

The Barbary Coast, 1621. A mysterious vessel silently rides the swell. She is known only as the Ghost Ship. For these past months, her crew has fought to liberate those enslaved by corsairs. But the two bravest mariners on board are not who they seem. And the stakes could not be higher: if captured, they will be hanged for their alleged crimes…


I couldn't help but think that perhaps one of the most poignant parts of this book is in fact the beginning. Not because it's the end of the path, which introduces the journey to the end, but rather the statement about what has driven Louise towards the journey and how society reacts towards those choices. In the end it all comes down to be being a woman. The child being determined to take a place predetermined for men and whilst doing so having to make decisions that make men fear her instead of perceiving her as the weakest link. 

The double-edged sword of course is society wanting to punish her for said role, her actions and equally for having the gall to be something other than what society expects of a woman, hence the dress being forced upon her. Her entire story is a fight against preconceptions, misogyny and an attempt to make tiny tears in the well established fabric of the patriarchy.

Despite this being the third book in the Joubert Family Chronicles, it can absolutely be read as a standalone novel. I think that is one of the trademarks of this author, that each book - even in a series - becomes its own microcosm.

The author takes historical fiction and embeds the written tales and myths of history - the result is a fascinating tale of a woman with the heart of the sea. Her determination to taste the salt, conquer the waves and be acknowledge as part of her family legacy.. It's a great read.

Buy The Ghost Ship at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Mantle; pub  date 6 July 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday 12 July 2023

#Blogtour Lowbridge by Lucy Campbell

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Lowbridge by Lucy Campbell.

About the Author
Lucy Campbell has worked as a writer and sub-editor across magazines, newspapers and non-fiction books. Lowbridge is her first novel. She lives in Canberra with her husband and three children. Follow @CampbellLucyN on Twitter

About the book
Where everybody knows everyone, how can somebody just disappear? - 1987: It’s late summer and a time of change when a 17-year-old girl leaves the local shopping centre in the sleepy town of Lowbridge and is never seen again.

Her unsolved disappearance is never far from the town’s memory. There’s those who grew up in the shadow of her loss whose own lives were altered forever, and those who know more than they’re saying.

2018: Katherine Ashworth, shattered by the death of her daughter, moves to her husband’s hometown. Searching for a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she joins the local historical society and becomes obsessed with the three-decades-old mystery. As Katherine digs into that summer of 1987, she stumbles upon the trail of a second girl who vanished and was never missed because no one cared enough to see what was happening in plain sight.

In a town simmering with divisions and a cast of unforgettable characters, Lowbridge is a heart wrenching mystery about the girls who are lost, the ones who are mourned and those who are forgotten.


Is it just me? No, really am I the only one that found a ball of rage growing inside me towards Angus and Jamie. They are the personification of men pretending to be allies of women and women's rights, and yet being the perfect example of misogyny and of men upholding the patriarchy. Oh gosh, well-educated Patricia has to run every decision by superior Angus, who deems the whole clinic endeavour and the women helping her, to be bothersome boring fruit flies.

And let's not forget the subtle abuse Jamie subjects Katherine to. Not going to lie both of them made me want to jump in the book and whack them round the head with a wet kipper. Insidious in nature, hidden behind welcoming smiles and compromising overtures, far worse than the in your face hatred of women. Why, because women often fail to recognise the danger lurking behind polite mask.

Hidden behind the systemic misogyny is a story of a town with secrets and the girls, women who fall prey to the predators, the dismissive nature of the people who are supposed to support them the potential victims, but end up being part of the problem and staunch enablers. This is particularly evident in Lu's response to Jac.

Katherine, who is learning to cope with her own grief becomes immersed in the grief of another family, and in doing so starts to unravel a secret that has been swept under the rug for many decades. It's a riveting dark domestic thriller and a good read.

Buy Lowbridge at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ultimo Press; pub date 6th July 2023 | Hardback | £16.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

#Blogtour Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena.

About the Author

Shari Lapena is one of the best-known thriller writers working today. Every one of her thrillers has been a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. She has spent a total of 76 weeks in the top 10 and has sold over 7 million copies across all titles and formats worldwide. Her debut, The Couple Next Door, was the overall bestselling fiction title in the UK in its year of publication and has been optioned for TV by Paramount. For more information about Shari and her books, you can visit Shari’s website here: or follow @sharilapena on Twitter

About the book

Welcome to Stanhope - a safe neighbourhood. A place for families. - William Wooler is a family man, on the surface. But he's been having an affair, an affair that ended horribly this afternoon at a motel up the road. So when he returns to his house, devastated and angry, to find his difficult nine-year-old daughter Avery unexpectedly home from school, William loses his temper.

Hours later, Avery's family declare her missing. - Suddenly Stanhope doesn't feel so safe. And William isn't the only one on his street who's hiding a lie. As witnesses come forward with information that may or may not be true, Avery's neighbours become increasingly unhinged. - Who took Avery Wooler? Nothing will prepare you for the truth.


This would make great on screen viewing. You can envision the guilt and panic of the impulsive father - the man caught between love and duty. The man who flies off the handle far too easily. Was keeping his secret enough to warrant the most despicable of crimes.

It's a twisted layered read that will make the reader question every person, each moment every character has clarified to prove they are innocent of a crime that is yet to be a established. They create a  scenario which makes us doubt them, because the majority seem to have a valid reason to commit a crime to keep their secrets, mistakes and lack of loyalty secret.

I thought the opening gambit in the kitchen between Avery and William was quite clever. His actions suggest a scenario or a willingness to act on impulse, a lack of restraint that could mean the difference between injury and perhaps even death. Is his secret really worth killing for?

It's a driven, fast-paced psychological thriller with a the vibe of a really well-known book then film, but revealing which one would give away the the most important part of the plot. This author always knows how to keep the audience riveted and guessing. It could have been anyone, they all seem to have a reason, right?

Buy Everyone Here is Lying at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏:  Transworld Digital; pub date 6 July 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday 10 July 2023

#Blogtour After You Were Gone by Vikki Wakefield

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour After You Were Gone by Vikki Wakefield.

About the Author

Vikki Wakefield writes fiction for young adults and adults. Her books explore family, class and relationships in a contemporary setting. Her novels All I Ever Wanted, Friday Brown, Inbetween Days and Ballad for a Mad Girl have been shortlisted for numerous awards. This Is How We Change The Ending won Book of the Year: Older Readers, Children’s Book Council Awards, 2020. After You Were Gone, a psychological thriller, is her first novel for adults. She is working on her second one. Follow @VikkiWakefield on Twitter

About the book

What happens to a family when a child goes missing? - In a busy street market, Abbie lets go of six-year-old Sarah’s hand. She isn’t a bad mother, just exhausted. When she turns around, her daughter isn’t there.

Six years later, Abbie is in love and getting married. But her fragile peace is constantly threatened: not knowing what happened to Sarah is like living with a curse. Then she receives a phone call from an unknown number. A man claims to know what happened to Sarah, but if Abbie tells anyone or fails to follow his instructions, she’ll never find out the truth.

After You Were Gone is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that poses the question: How far would you go to find your child?


Abbie is exhausted when Sarah disappears, but she also doesn't expect a very short moment of not paying attention will lead to the permanent loss of her precious child. Without a trace and without an explanation, just gone. No wonder she jumps at the chance when a mysterious phone call could mean the end of her misery.

There are right fighters and there are people who will do anything to hurt you, even if it means taking the one thing that means the most to you. To destroy, to sever, even to kill. What kind of cruel intention must live on the shoulder of the kind of person who thinks nothing of committing the most nefarious crime against another human being.

It's a driven piece of work, where emotions live constantly on the cusp of causing an implosion or the complete shutdown. What strength and determination must it take to swim through the devastation of a loss for which you will always blame yourself. The kind of loss that will forever leave a gaping hole.

I found the last few chapters especially poignant, perhaps because it pulls on the invisible threads that bind, especially across the generations. The acknowledgement of past mistakes and the willingness to ensure the generational trauma doesn't carry on - well at least to try.

Buy After You Were Gone at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎No Exit Press; pub date 6 July 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour You're a Dream to Me by Samantha Kay

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour You're a Dream to Me by Samantha Kay.

About the Author

Samantha Kay is an author of contemporary women’s fiction.  Her titles include, Found, Good People, and her newest release; You’re a Dream to Me. 

Samantha has been studying human behaviour and dysfunctional family dynamics at the University of Life for almost twenty years, with many of her findings inspiring her stories and their characters. Samantha Kay was born, raised and still lives in East London. Follow @Samanthakay21 on Twitter

About the book
After the suicide of her husband, Lydia Green’s life is turned upside down. In the aftermath of Steve’s death, the secrets he kept begin to surface, resulting in Lydia having to say goodbye to her easy carefree lifestyle; and is forced to rebuild her whole life again from scratch.

Lydia is constantly haunted by the memory of Steve as she sleeps. The shame and anger Lydia feels surrounding her husband’s death means she constantly experiences disturbing nightmares that she struggles to make sense of.

Embarrassed by Steve’s choice to end his own life, Lydia is often quick to fabricate tales to others regarding the circumstances of his death. During her journey home from a disastrous first day back at work, Lydia, quite literally, falls into the life of handsome rail engineer Scott.

Unable to come to terms with the unsettling facts of her past, while Lydia and Scott’s budding romance begins to blossom, Lydia fabricates a fictitious tale surrounding the reasons behind her newfound widowhood.

With the help of her best friend Ruth and an unlikely bond found in her new boss Jon, can Lydia find the strength to eventually be honest with Scott, and finally put the ghosts of her past to rest?


I have to say this has a lot more depth than one might surmise when you take a quick glance at the surface. The core conversation revolves around suicide, so that could be triggering for some readers. I think it was done in a really subtle and sometimes humorous way.

From a outside point of view the reactions of Lydia could be viewed as chaotic, frivolous or possibly even as disengaged from the reality of her situation. Even when she connects with other men after the death of her husband.

In fact what the entire story reflects is the pain, guilt, the confusion, the sadness, the panic, the despair and also the anger of Lydia. The chaos and confusion, and yet the firm determination to sort through and recover from the mess her husband left behind. Left with nothing, and yet still feeling a responsibility to make his name and legacy less negative, especially because no person likes to blame the person who took their own life, she is pulled between two masters.

The dreams that speak of complex guilt, the imagining of the emotional distress she missed, which is presented as a contradiction to the lived reality she experiences every day. I enjoyed it. I think this is one of those reads that may be underrated and deserves a wee bit more attention.

Buy You're a Dream to Me at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday 6 July 2023

#Blogtour Afro-Saxon By Dillibe Onyeama

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Afro-Saxon: Homecoming Memories of a Black Boy at Eton by Dillibe Onyeama.

About the Author

As soon as Dillibe Onyeama was born, in January 1951, his father put his name down for Eton, the UK’s most prestigious and expensive private school. No black child had gone there, but his father, a senior judge in Nigeria who had studied at Oxford, wanted him to have the best education he could possibly afford. Onyeama did go on to receive a fantastic education – and made history as the first black person to complete his study at Eton College. But the personal cost was staggering. Follow @DillibeOnyeama on Twitter,

About the book

Afro-Saxon is the follow-up to the highly controversial book ‘A Black Boy at Eton’, published early 2022 by Penguin. Dillibe Onyeama was the first black boy to complete his education at Eton in 1968. Written at just twenty-one, it was a deeply personal, revelatory account of the racism he endured during his time as a student at the prestigious institution.

He tells in vivid detail of his own background as the son of a Nigerian judge at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, of his arrival at the school, of the curriculum, of his reception by other boys (and masters), and of his punishments. He tells, too, of the cruel racial prejudice he suffered and his reactions to it, and of the alienation and stereotyping he faced at such a young age.

‘A Black Boy at Eton’ was a searing, ground-breaking book displaying the deep psychological effects of colonialism and racism, and the follow-up ‘Afro-Saxon’ tells more about his story and experiences in a white dominated society.


It's fair to say that a system built upon white supremacy and a clear structure of a class system that always cements the paths of certain people in success, will only reluctantly allow it to be infiltrated by the very bodies upon whom the house of wealth was built or for them to take a seat at the table.

One has to ask oneself why the memoir of one man could be so egregious that any connection between himself and halls of the future elite had to be severed completely. Being faced with truth, the experiences of a young man, who will forever be marked by the cruelty driven by the colour of his skin.

British society is deeply rooted in the colonialism and white supremacy it was built upon. Old habits die hard, and white privilege is really difficult to acknowledge when you have no other lived experience to compare. The only way to do so is to listen, learn and change. Engage when racism rears its head and confront the stereotypes and daily bias.

This is a hard-hitting memoir, perhaps more so because the author also wades into the complexity of belonging neither here nor there when you rise from one social, geographical or cultural circle and enter one you're not welcome in and are also no longer really part of where you began your journey.

It's a complex, emotional and eye-opening read - definitely one I would recommend.

Buy Afro-Saxon at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Quadrant Books; pub date 1 Mar. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday 5 July 2023

#Blogtour Water Street by J.P. Maxwell

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Water Street by J. P. Maxwell.

About the Author

From studying Russian at University College London to producing films for the BBC and running a newspaper kiosk, JP Maxwell settled back in Liverpool in 2001 and now teaches Screenwriting and Digital Writing at Liverpool John Moores University. Although fictional, his writing directly links to a rich immigrant family history and oral tradition in the port city and specifically Toxteth since the early 1800s. 

His debut novel is Water Street, based upon Liverpool’s clandestine involvement in the American Civil War. Follow @MaxMaxWriter on Twitter, @outandaboutwithmaxwell on Tiktok or @outandaboutwithmaxwell on Instagram

About the book

He’s here to win the war. His wife is here to stop him. - Liverpool 1863. The American Civil War comes to the British Empire’s second city and the world’s richest port.

Confederate Commander Banastre X. Dunwoody has a plan to turn the conflict by securing advanced warships, but the U.S. Government is one step ahead of him. It seeks to sabotage his efforts through its covert agent – Harriet Dunwoody – Banastre’s pregnant wife.

Alongside her undercover partner Conté, Harriet discovers that Banastre has plans to do more than building ships; he has a scheme that could very well draw Britain into the war. As Gettysburg looms, an ocean away there’s another battle to be won and lost. The fate of the USA and the City of Liverpool rests upon it.


It certainly gives off Deadwood meets Ripper Street with a healthy dose of historical background. It's gritty, rough and plastered with colourful characters. The kind readers love to hate and adore in equal measure. It also makes readers wonder who is on the right side of history or in this case the civil war.

Loyalties are easily swayed for the right price and indeed the word trustworthy doesn't really play into the majority of connections and relationships. All's fair in love and war, right? Defending and saving your country is worth every sacrifice, or is it?

Pitting husband and wife against each other seems like the most difficult level of subterfuge, especially  when she is more than just heavily pregnant - sometimes labour starts at the most inopportune moments.

It's a really feisty exploration of fiction and history - I would love to see it on screen. The combination of the era, the complexity of politics and patriotism, and the reality of imperfection when it comes to the characters. It sounds like a hoot, and was certainly a ride of a read.

Buy Water Street at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎BK Fiction; pub date 1 July 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Chemical Code by Fiona Erskine

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Chemical Code by Fiona Erskine.

About the Author

Fiona Erskine is a professional engineer based in Teesside, although her work has taken her around the globe. As a female engineer, she has often been the lone representative of her gender in board meetings, cargo ships and night-time factories, and her fiction offers a fascinating insight into this traditionally male world. 

She is the author of The Chemical Detective, The Chemical Reaction and The Chemical Cocktail, all published by Point Blank. The Chemical Detective was shortlisted for the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award and The Chemical Reaction was shortlisted for the Staunch Prize in 2020. Follow @erskine_fiona on Twitter

About the book

Racing towards the dark heart of Brazil, explosives expert Jaq Silver has one goal - vengeance. When her enemies take what she treasures most, she resolves to make them pay. Unsure who to trust, alert to hidden agendas, Jaq is hunting solo. As summer temperatures rise, the web of danger and corruption tightens around her. What is in the mysterious box, Jaq has inherited from her grandmother? Can Jaq be sure she is chasing down the right target? And who is pursuing her?

An exhilarating tour around Brazil from the gold mines of Goiás to the glorious beaches of Rio, THE CHEMICAL CODE combines non-stop explosive action and Bond-style villainy with the scientific know-how that makes the Chemical Detective series so unique.


The knots of threads that are woven together to create this fascinating story are each a mystery unto themselves - why is Jaq being targeted, who is she after, what about this darn box, and why is she seeking vengeance?

At first it seems as if the reader is confronted with a variety of unrelated scenario's - the majority of them with a deadly conclusion. It's a bit who, where, why, what, when and how on earth is that even possible, and all of it with core knowledge of chemistry and STEM subjects at the core of it. Quite interesting that people probably wouldn't even bat an eyelid if Jaq were a man - the expectation would be that he MacGyver each situation successfully.

This is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone novel. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, how often do we get an inspirational woman who holds up the banner for STEM in a riveting and fast-paced thriller series.

I really enjoyed the way the individual chapters begin and are identified - it serves as a reminder that the main character is a very capable individual, who has her finger on the pulse and is the kind of quick thinking action hero readers will want to read more about.

Buy The Chemical Code at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by POINT BLANK, pub date 29 June 2023 Paperback original £9.99. Buy at Amazon com.