Book reviews

SPRING PROMOTION for One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly

Book Description:

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.

First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Last-Summer-Victoria-Connelly-ebook/dp/B07G38S71K/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_74?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=1H27P4EST3HXQ6NQPPC4

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/One-Last-Summer-Victoria-Connelly-ebook/dp/B07G38S71K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=one+last+summer&qid=1556011274&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/One-Last-Summer-Victoria-Connelly-ebook/dp/B07G38S71K/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_35?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZQJN1CMSS6BWWAFH9P4A

 

Author bio:

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Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.

She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/312085782631729/

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2860092.Victoria_Connelly?from_search=true

Instagram: @VictoriaConnellyAuthor

Website: www.victoriaconnelly.com

Book reviews

Searching For Sylvia by Joanna Stephen-Ward – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Sylvia has been missing for thirty years. Will her daughters ever find her?
Tordorrach is 70,000 acres of drought stricken land in the Australian outback. Why do a group of wealthy people from London want to buy it?

Seamus, the owner of Tordorrach, lives in poverty. His homestead is derelict and he is heavily in debt. The new owners run Outback Experience holidays on Tordorrach. Seamus becomes one of the gardeners, and he and his wife Mary move to a comfortable cabin on the property. Why does he hate the new owners so much that he plans to murder one of them?

The idyllic life of the new owners is shattered when the body of a woman is found buried on Tordorrach. Forensics find a bullet in her body. Who was she? And who murdered her?

 

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MY REVIEW

Set in Australia, this is a family drama with a twist…

It starts with Paul, a solicitor who comes home to his wife how tells hims she is leaving him for someone else….leaving her boring life and boring husband…..He decides it’s time for a new life and leaves Sydney for a small, remote town of Cobar.

He continues to work as a solicitor and loves his new life….then comes a mystery buyer of the near derelict homestead, Tordorrach. The current owner, Seamus is reluctant to sell to the English despite being heavily in debt, but eventually sells. Seamus is a nasty, belligerent piece of work and alienates everyone around him including his long suffering wife, Mary.

The new buyers are all related, and lived at Tordorrach many years before and are still troubled by the sudden disappearance of Sylvia, mother to Grace and Juliet at the time. They employed a private detective, but unfortunately nothing could be found….

They also find an old journal written by an ancestor, which adds a little history to the family.

A lot of this story is about the renovation of Tordorrach and the setting up of a new business, from the cabin fittings to menu’s, which helps builds a wonderful picture of the estate, the new owners and their relationships amongst themselves and those around them.

A body is then found, buried a long time ago……murdered…..is this Sylvia? And just who In this small town knows what happened?

All is revealed in an emotion packed confession, will this be the end of it now ? ….

A slowly paced but totally immersive read from start to finish….I really enjoyed it.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Joanna Stephen-Ward was born in the Australian outback, and grew up in Melbourne. Her school days were spent dreaming about being an opera singer or a writer. To the exasperation of her parents and teachers she spent her final year sitting at the back of the classroom writing a novel set in WW2.

When she left school she went to an opera school where she was taught drama, movement and language pronunciation and had small roles in the workshop productions. She was not good enough to become a professional opera singer, but the seeds of her novel Vissi d’arte were sown.

She left Australia and spent a year travelling around Europe and the UK. While working in outpatients for the NHS she met Peter and they married in 1985. They lived in Richmond Surrey and she worked at The National Archives, an enthralling place for anyone interested in history or crime.

Having been brought up as a lonely only child, she was astonished to discover in 2010 that she was one of eight children. She and her sister had last been together on a verandah in the outback when they were babies. They had a joyous reunion in Cornwall in 2012.

Joanna has written seven novels and is working on her eighth.


Author Links :

https://www.facebook.com/joanna.stephenward


https://twitter.com/OperaLover12


https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/28527503


https://outbackwriter.blogspot.com

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh,
by bestselling author Chris Brookmyre and consultant anaesthetist Dr Marisa Haetzman.

In Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges. As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.

– The Way of All Flesh is the first in a series of historical crime novels. It will appeal to fans of C.J. Sansom, S.J. Parris and historical crime fiction, as well of fans of Brookmyre’s own writing.

– The Way of All Flesh contains real life characters and events including:
▪ Dr James Simpson, pioneer of chloroform
▪ The invention of anaesthesia and its early use in obstetric procedures
▪ The influence of the newly established Free Church of Scotland
▪ The work of photography pioneers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson

– It has already been optioned by SunnyMarch for Film/TV and has sold into seven territories to date.

– Chris Brookmyre is an international bestselling and multi-award-winning author whose books have sold over one million copies. Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of 20 years’ experience, with a Master’s in the history of Medicine which formed the research for this book.


Raven and Fisher will return in The Art of Dying,
publishing in hardback 29.08.19.

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MY REVIEW

Will Raven is an apprentice ‘midwife’ to Dr Simpson a kind, generous doctor with an interest in anaesthesia. Raven owes money to violent ‘loan sharks’ after borrowing to lend money to his friend,  who is then found dead. He feels this was murder, then there are further women found dead with the same contorted bodies.

Sarah is a housemaid, who also works for Dr Simpson, part time, in his surgery helping with patients and clearing up. She has a thirst for medical knowledge and reads medical books avidly but as a women in these times, is disregarded.

Sarah and Raven do not get on initially, but they begin to investigate the deaths of the women and a little romance begins.

There’s a lot of medical information given and about the new fangled use of anaesthesia in medicine and surgery in the 1840’s and it reminds you just how far medicine has advanced. Thank goodness.

Ambrose Parry,  the authors have clearly done a lot of research and while this includes a lot of details in the tale it is not confusing but just reinforces the story and gives background to medicine of the time.

This is a great, wonderfully eloquent tale of historical medical drama, romance and a murder mystery.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

PURCHASE LINK

ABOUT AMBROSE PARRY
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Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Black Widow, winner of both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based. The Way of All Flesh is the first book in the series. @ambroseparry


PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

‘Menacing, witty and ingeniously plotted, Ambrose Parry’s debut draws you into the dark heart of nineteenth-century Edinburgh and won’t let you go until the final page’
S.J. PARRIS

‘Utterly compelling, this tale of Old Edinburgh is so full of characters
and startling incident that I never wanted it to end’
DENISE MINA

‘Parry’s Victorian Edinburgh comes vividly alive – and it’s a world of pain’
VAL McDERMID

‘Pretty damn exceptional’
IRVINE WELSH

‘A dynamic new arrival in this niche category of writers. Ambrose Parry’s The Way of All Flesh leads the reader down dark alleys, through aristocratic parlours and prostitutes’ bedrooms, into secret worlds’
NICCI FRENCH, Observer

‘An astonishing debut. The dark and dangerous past is brought thrillingly to life. I can’t wait to read more.’​
MARK BILLINGHAM

‘The city of Burke & Hare has found a new classic murder. The Way of All Flesh is a darkly, stylish mystery underpinned by hard facts and expert research. A hugely enjoyable debut’
LOUISE WELSH

‘Everything you could possibly want in a historical crime fiction novel with extra thrills and chills on the side’
STUART MacBRIDE

‘Fascinating, informative and intriguing. Old Edinburgh brought to life and death within these pages’
LIN ANDERSON

‘A terrific read – Victorian Edinburgh’s medical world resurrected, and brought vividly to life’
GAVIN FRANCIS

‘I adored this atmospheric, enthralling novel. Victorian Edinburgh comes thrillingly to life’
JENNY COLGAN

‘A thoroughly entertaining tale of murder and misadventure in 1840s Edinburgh.’
Sunday Times

‘An enjoyable, dark-edged romp through Victorian Edinburgh . . . The Way of All Flesh is a treat. The historical setting is fascinating, and all of Brookmyre’s wit and storytelling verve are evident in this tale of scalpels and secrets.’
The Times

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller

Fatal Fortune by Miranda Rijks – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Is someone trying to frame psychologist Pippa Durrant for the brutal murder of a woman she’s never even met?

It certainly seems that way when Pippa’s photo is found on the body of murdered lottery winner, Leanne Smith.

Pippa soon finds herself a suspect at the centre of a huge media storm. But she has an invaluable skill set – she is a human polygraph, expertly trained to spot lies and deceit. Skills she will need to help her to solve the mystery of who killed Leanne before it destroys her career – and her life.

But every cloud has a silver lining and this one arrives in the shape of DS Joe Swain. Initially suspicious of Pippa, he comes to trust her and to value her lie detection skills. Soon it’s clear there’s a definite spark between them….

Then, when another body turns up, Pippa realises her reputation isn’t the only thing in danger. Can she identify the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Fatal Fortune is the electrifying first book in the Dr. Pippa Durrant Thriller Series. If you like edge-of-your-seat action, clever sleuths, and shocking twists, then you’ll love Miranda Rijks’ gripping crime novel.

 

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MY REVIEW

This is the first book in series featuring Dr Pippa Durrant.

Pippa is a psychologist and has gained a good reputation for herself, but then her photo is all over the media identifying her as the murdered lottery winner, Leanne Smith.

The police had issued the photo to the press as it had been found on the brutally murdered Leanne…but why? Is Pippa linked somehow?

“I look down at my handiwork and smile. The bitch is unrecognisable “

DS Joe Swain is investigating the murder and there is definitely a spark between him and Pippa, but is he just using her for her skills as a psychologist and micro expression reader?

Donna, is Leanne’s daughter and is distraught at her mothers death, her husband Ricky is supportive and caring….for now!

Mike is helping Ricky complete an extension on their home and he becomes close to Donna, when as Ricky starts behaving oddly, disappearing for hours…..and her Dad has been arrested for the murder…

Pippa tries to find out what’s going on and does her own bit of investigation, which leads nowhere but raises more suspicions, at the same time she is struggling with her own personal issues, her estranged son has come home, but things are still a bit fraught and then he is involved in an accident, her dog is let out of the house by someone and she has a client, the troubled Brent who needs to talk……and then another person is murdered!

I loved this book, so cleverly plotted, with many suspects and secrets to keep you guessing with never a dull moment…..it all comes together in a final, nerve shredding finish….brilliant writing by Miranda Rijks.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

About Miranda Rijks:

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Miranda Rijks is a writer of suspense novels. I WANT YOU GONE is her first psychological thriller.

Miranda has an eclectic background ranging from law to running a garden centre. She’s been writing all of her life and has a Masters in writing. A couple of years ago she decided to ditch the business plans and press releases and now she’s living the dream, writing suspense novels full time. She lives in Sussex, England with her Dutch husband, musician daughter and black Labrador.

Up next is FATAL FORTUNE, the first of three books in a mystery romance series that will be published in May 2019. They feature Dr Pippa Durrant, a psychologist and specialist in lie detection, who works alongside Sussex police getting embroiled in some scary stuff!

Miranda loves connecting with her readers, so you can reach out to her at http://www.mirandarijks.com

Social Media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaRijks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaRijksAuthor/
Website: http://www.mirandarijks.com
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mirandarijksauthor/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?i=digital-text&rh=p_27%3AMiranda+Rijks&s=relevancerank&text=Miranda+Rijks&ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1


Purchase Links:
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fatal-Fortune-Pippa-Durrant-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07QM7PK4P/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fatal+fortune&qid=1555533691&s=gateway&sr=8-2
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Fortune-Pippa-Durrant-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07QM7PK4P/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=fatal+fortune&qid=1555533721&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Publishing Information:
Published in paperback and eBook format by Inkubator Books on 5th May 2019

 

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

Blood On The Stone by Jake Lynch – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Historical mystery thriller about a detective who defends justice and human rights

March 1681. Oxford is hosting the English Parliament under the ‘merry monarch’, King Charles II. As politicians and their hangers-on converge on the divided city, an MP is found murdered, triggering tensions that threaten mayhem on the streets.

Luke Sandys, Chief Officer of the Oxford Bailiffs, must solve the crime and thwart the plot. On his side is the respect for evidence and logic he absorbed in his student days, as a follower of the new science. On the other, a group of political conspirators are stirring up sectarian hatreds in their scheme to overthrow the Crown.

Struggling to protect all he holds dear, Luke leans heavily on his cavalry officer brother, his friends, and his faithful deputy, Robshaw. But he has a secret, which may be clouding his judgement. At the moment of truth, will he choose love or duty?

 

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MY REVIEW

I enjoyed Blood on The Stone by Jake Lynch immensely, it’s a unique murder mystery set in 17th Century Oxford.

King Charles II is visiting the city with his entourage, when an MP William Harbord is found murdered…first thoughts are this is a political killing by the papists. They worry about revenge by the Green Ribbon Club and their anti-catholic agitation..

Luke Sandys, The Chief Officer of the Bailiffs is set to solve the murder, he also finds a plot against the King.

I found Luke Sandys to be a quite sympathetic character,  a married man, but lonely and has feelings for the Catholic Cate….very much against the emotions of the time.

The mix of historical facts and fiction made for a very entertaining read, it was clearly a very troubled, turbulent and brutal time….the idea of Catherine Wheeling someone is horrific….all in the name of religion. A must read for lovers of historical fiction and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Also Thanks to The Pigeonhole.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jake Lynch is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, and the author of seven books and over 50 refereed articles and book chapters. Over 20 years, he has pioneered both research and practice in the field of Peace Journalism, for which he was recognised with the 2017 Luxembourg Peace Prize, awarded by the Schengen Peace Foundation.


He has held Fellowships at the Universities of Johannesburg, Bristol and Cardiff, where he read English Literature and got a Diploma in Journalism Studies. His PhD was from City University, London.


Before taking up an academic post, Jake enjoyed a successful career in journalism, with spells as a Political Correspondent for Sky News at Westminster and the Sydney correspondent for the Independent newspaper, culminating in a role as a presenter (anchor) for BBC World Television News.


Jake divides his time between Australia and Oxford, where he performs in amateur dramatic productions and runs a local book group. He is married with a teenaged son.

 

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Book reviews, Crime thriller

Jaded by Rob Ashman – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A body washes up on a Blackpool beach, tortured and shot through the head.

A man is found in an alleyway with his throat ripped open.

A woman is murdered in a hospital bed.

What connects them?

DI Roz Kray’s private life is in turmoil as she struggles to unravel a baffling case and DCI Dan Bagley is hell-bent on making her working life a misery.

Billy Ellwood is a chameleon. What forced him to disappear eighteen years ago? And what was the promise?

When Kray makes a shattering discovery it rocks her world to the core. The stakes could not be higher. She’s left with no choice.

This time … it’s all or nothing.
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MY REVIEW

This starts with torture and murder…..then the body is found after being dumped at sea…and the investigation begins.

DI Rosalind Kray (Roz) and her DC Duncan Tavener are assigned the case….then a young Asian woman is run over by a taxi driver in an accident and Roz believes she may have been a victim of trafficking and that the two cases may be linked. Her boss DCI Bagley thinks differently and tells her to treat them as separate and that this must be drug related.

The story is interspersed with chapters from Billy’s perspective, an undercover cop who gets a little too close to enjoying the criminal lifestyle….until his wife is murdered…after 18 years he wants revenge and his companion, Jade is very encouraging…..

Roz is getting close to working out what is going on, she then has a personal tragedy and Bagley takes over the case. When she returns she discovers just how they keep missing catching the perpetrators…..she is so driven despite her recent tragedy and just keeps digging until she discovers the shocking reason…

This is a brilliantly plotted tale, with some truly gruesome moments of torture. There’s also people trafficking and violence, but is ultimately a story of heartbreak and revenge…..with a little corruption. Great characters with human emotions, a credit to Rob Ashman’s creative writing. I really enjoyed this gripping thriller and can absolutely recommend it.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

You can can buy a copy here (click on the image)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-three years.

 

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

 

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result. Since then Rob has written the DI Rosalind Kray series.

 

All the novels are published by Bloodhound Books.
The Mechanic Trilogy – Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance.
The DI Rosalind Kray series – Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded.

 

When he’s not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.
Twitter Handle: @RobAshmanAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Rob-Ashman-Author

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Scandal by Mari Hannah – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB

When an young man is found stabbed to death in a side street in Newcastle city centre in the run up to Christmas, it looks like a botched robbery to DCI David Stone. But when DS Frankie Oliver arrives at the crime scene, she gets more than she bargained for.

She IDs the victim as Herald court reporter, thirty-two-year old Chris Adams she’s known since they were kids. With no eyewitnesses, the MIT are stumped. They discover that when Adams went out, never to return, he was working on a scoop that would make his name. But what was the story he was investigating? And who was trying to cover it up?

As detectives battle to solve the case, they uncover a link to a missing woman that turns the investigation on its head. The exposé has put more than Adams’ life in danger. And it’s not over yet.

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MY REVIEW

 

This is #3 in the Oliver and Stone series by Mari Hannah….

Frankie Oliver is called to a murder scene, this one is a shock as she knows the victim…a childhood friend…

They find he was a journalist, working on a big story….does this have anything to do with his death ?…..Oliver and Stone think there is more to this than a violent robbery.

Frankie is a likeable character, with a love of her job and is a strong woman in a still mainly male dominated profession. The relationship with her colleague, Stone feels genuine, with the gentle banter and honesty they have with each other…..neither afraid to say exactly what they think…

The Scandal has great attention to detail and is a clever mix of police procedural and thriller, with a human touch. Clever plot and a thoughtful, engaging read….I’ll be looking out for the next in the series, for sure.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Lies Behind The Ruin by Helen Matthew – Book Review and #Giveaway

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Emma Willshire has overcome plenty of obstacles in her life. From student bride to single mum of a son, Owen, but she has found happiness with her second husband, Paul and another child, Mollie. Emma’s dark days seem far behind her until a fatal accident happens at Paul’s work and he is held responsible.

On holiday in France, Paul’s behaviour turns erratic. On impulse, he buys a cheap,
dilapidated property and, to Emma’s dismay, persuades her they can renovate it into a holiday home.

Back in England, their problems spiral out of control. Escape to a new life in France seems the only solution but with heart-breaking loss for Emma. As the couple strive to renovate their ruin and open a small business, shadows from the past threaten their happiness and safety. Because, how can you build a new life on toxic foundations?

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MY REVIEW

Emma and Paul decide to move to France, to renovate a ruin of a farmhouse. This is mean to be a fresh start after a terrible accident at Paul’s work, for which he was held responsible.

They are not exactly flush with money and tensions rise….especially as one of them has a secret…..

I enjoyed the way the story is told from both Emma and Paul’s perspectives as you get a real feel for each of their characters and their emotions…..there’s the heartache of Emma leaving her eldest child with their father, the excitement of a new life and then the hidden secret that threatens it all….engrossing writing by Helen Matthews.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Links
https://www.helenmatthewswriter.com/shop
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lies-Behind-Ruin-Helen-Matthews/dp/1999300610
US – https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Behind-Ruin-Helen-Matthews-ebook/dp/B07Q5ZGZHP

 

Author Bio –

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Helen Matthews is the author of Lies Behind the Ruin, a contemporary suspense novel set in France, to be published in April 2019 by Hashtag Press. Her debut novel After Leaving the Village, published in 2017, won first prize for the opening pages of a novel at Winchester Writers’ Festival. Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. Helen’s short stories and flash fiction have won prizes and been
published in Reflex Fiction, Ad Hoc, Artificium, Scribble and Love Sunday. Her freelance journalism has been published in the Guardian and broadcast on BBC radio. She is an ambassador for Unseen, a charity that campaigns to end human trafficking and modern slavery.


Social Media Links – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelenMK7Writer/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenMK7
Giveaway to Win 2 x Signed copies of Lies Behind The Ruins (Europe Only)


*Terms and Conditions –European entries welcome. Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden – Book Review and #Giveaway

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

“Harry Fletcher is a confident young man, sure that he will marry Nora, no matter what their families say. He will always protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide.

 

Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans…
From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.”

 

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MY REVIEW

Set in Australia, Harry Fletcher misses his wife. He and Nora, his granddaughter are going through her things now, as it’s time. They find a journal, written during WW1….

The story travels through the war, Gallipoli, Passchendaele and more…it tells of the horrific life in the trenches…..

It also tells the emotional side of surviving a war, the struggles, tragedies, love and ultimately the feeling of Hope. This is such an emotional read, unbearably sad at times but still has a little humour now and then….

I found the characters to be well written and immensely likeable, great storylines and full of empathy…..this will tug at your heartstrings that’s for sure. I liked how the story was laid out with the letters and journal entries adding a feeling of reality and the descriptive scenes of the trenches themselves are just brutal. A tale of the effects of war on the soul….wonderful writing by Clare Rhoden.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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Purchase Links:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stars-Night-Clare-Rhoden/dp/1925652521/
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-stars-in-the-night-clare-rhoden/1130076728
http://odysseybooks.com.au/titles/the-stars-in-the-night-new/

 

Author Bio –

E041D3AE-4ABD-435F-A8D6-6C8865AB441EClare Rhoden writes historical fiction, sci-fi and fantasy (check her titles at Odyssey Books http://odysseybooks.com.au/). Clare lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband Bill, their super-intelligent poodle-cross Aeryn, a huge and charming parliament of visiting magpies, and a very demanding/addictive garden space.
Clare completed her PhD in Australian WWI literature at the University of Melbourne in 2011, and a Masters of Creative Writing in 2008, in which she investigated the history of her grandparents who emigrated for Europe to Port Adelaide in January 1914. The Stars in the Night is the result of her research.

 

Social Media Links –
Website: https://clarerhoden.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clareelizabethrhoden/
Instagram: @clarerhodenauthor
Twitter: @ClareER
Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Stars in the Night, a metal poppy brooch made by a Melbourne craftswoman, and a cross-stitch poppy card. (Open Internationally)


*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to
the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

 



http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494214/?

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

The Suspects by Katherine Johnson – Book Review and #Giveaway

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Shallow Grave meets The Secret History in this quirky psychological thriller.

Bristol, 1988. Five young graduates on the threshold of their careers buy a house together in order to get a foot on the property ladder before prices spiral out of their reach. But it soon becomes the house share from hell.

After their New Year’s Eve party, they discover a body – and it’s clear they’ll be the first suspects. As each of them has a good reason from their past not to trust the police, they come up with a solution – one which forces them into a life of secrets and lies. But can they trust each other?

“The hugely talented Katharine Johnson has, again delivered a tense thriller! This is a compelling novel – up there with Erin Kelly and Sophie Hannah.”
Val Penny, author of The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.

“Gripping and frighteningly realistic. The twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end.”
Jo Fenton, author of The Brotherhood.

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MY REVIEW

The Suspects by Katherine Johnson is certainly a page turner. Some great characters, with secrets and pasts full of surprises.

When Stuart’s grandfather dies and leaves him a little money, he decides its enough to pay a deposit on a house….but he couldn’t afford a mortgage on his own so he and four friends decide to buy a home together…..what could go wrong?

Well, they have a New Years Eve party, all good fun until a week later they find a body in the cellar…..panicking they decide to dispose of the body…

Zak, Emily, Stuart and Xanthe plan to dispose of ‘Bob’ but don’t tell Imogen as she wasn’t at home at the time….

But the strain of what they have done plays on their minds….but then someone else dies….just who is responsible??

Set mainly in the 1980’s with the odd reference to events in that era, such as IRA bombings and Salman Rushdie’s fatwa, give this an air of reality. The characters are well rounded and while not all likeable, their relationships are totally believable and their rising panic adds to the tension. I really enjoyed this and read it in one sitting, a great read for any lover of tense thrillers.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

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Purchase Links:
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Suspects-Katharine-Johnson-ebook/dp/B07PRCJ785
US – https://www.amazon.com/Suspects-Katharine-Johnson-ebook/dp/B07PRCJ785

 

About the author:

DE891302-9E21-4AD9-A639-59F977AF5E2FKatharine Johnson was born in Bristol and now lives in Berkshire. She’s worked as a journalist on lots of magazines and has written a history book about Windsor. When not writing you’ll usually find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, restoring a house in Italy, walking her spaniel or playing netball (although not usually at the same time.)


https://www.facebook.com/katharinejohnsonauthor
https://www.twitter.com/@kjohnsonwrites
https://www.instagram.com/katharinejohnsonauthor
https://www.pinterest.com/katharinejohnsonauthor
https://www.katyjohnsonblog.wordpress.com
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katharine-johnson
http://www.crookedcatbooks.com @crookedcatbooks

Giveaway to Win copies of The Suspects and The Silence (Open International)
1st Prize – signed paperback of The Suspects
2nd Prize audiobook of The Silence – any region
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Rosie and Ruby by Patricia Dixon – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Ruby lives one-step away from poverty on a rundown, crime infested estate in Manchester, with Stella, her feckless, self centred a mother.

In the quiet suburbs of Cheshire Rosie, Ruby’s cousin, leads a charmed, middle class existence but feels suffocated by her domineering mother Doreen.

Although Stella and Doreen have little in common, they share the inability to show the love and loyalty that their daughters deserve.

Meanwhile, Olivia, a member of the elite Cheshire set, is aloof and distant, rattling around in her sprawling mansion, attending charity functions and hosting infamous bridge nights.

Her errant son Marcus lives his life in the fast lane, maximising the perks of the family firm whilst enjoying his jet setting bachelor existence, well away from the watchful eyes of his disapproving mother.

But when Ruby meets Marcus her life begins to crumble and one by one the secrets she has kept are exposed.

Can Rosie and Ruby’s bond survive? And in Ruby’s hour of need, will her cousin keep her promise, and come to her rescue?

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MY REVIEW

This is the tale of two cousins, Rosie and Ruby, about their lives beginning at their childhood and early teenage years in Manchester.

Their mothers are not the best to say the least and Rosie and Ruby have to overcome the mental traumas they suffered and that continue to haunt them for many years…

Rosie moves to France to become a hotelier and Ruby ends up in a troubled marriage with a real nasty piece of work….

Can they finally find the freedom and independence they dream of ? Will the close bond they had as children survive and help them both achieve their dream?

Patricia Dixon has created a stunningly immersive story of family, relationships, of love and heartbreak….wonderfully emotional.

Thank you to Bombshell Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review

 

Author Bio

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Patricia Dixon was born in Manchester where she still lives with her husband. They have two grown up children and one grandson.

Ignoring her high school reports and possibly sound advice from teachers, Patricia shunned the world of academia and instead, stubbornly pursued a career in fashion. Once the sparkle of London life wore off she returned north and embarked on a new adventure, that of motherhood.

Now, almost thirty years later she has acquiesced to the wise words of her elders and turned her hand to writing. Patricia has written a total of eight novels, the latest is due for release in March 2019.

Amazon Author Page
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Patricia-Dixon/e/B00I1YV2RM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Twitter
@pbadixon

Email – dixon.patricia@icloud.com.

Facebook Links

Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/pbadixon/?ref=bookmarks

Profile Page
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009000921564

Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Family Lie by Jake Cross – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

You whispered goodnight to your daughter. You didn’t know that would be your last goodbye.

You wake up in the middle of the night.

Your five-year-old daughter is gone.

Your husband is nowhere to be seen.

Your family think he took her.

The police believe he’s guilty.

But he wouldn’t do that, would he?

He’s a loving father. A loving husband. Isn’t he?

An addictive and completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist that will blow you away. Fans of The Girl on the Train,K.L. Slater and Shalini Boland won’t be able to put down this jaw-dropping novel.

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MY REVIEW

“Hope you’ve got good pictures of Josie in your head. You’ll need them.”

Anna wakes to the sound of white noise….but then realises its rain she can hear……she gets up to check her daughter Josie, but finds her bedroom empty, frantic she searches the house but she’s nowhere to be found, neither is Nick, her husband. She finds the patio door open, blood on the doorstep and she runs outside screaming for Josie.

Coming to her senses she calls the police…..where are Nick and Josie….

With a house full of Detectives and CSI’s they find nothing and begin to wonder if Nick has taken Josie….but then a ransom demand call is received and Anna starts to panic……what has she done to deserve this….?

This is a fast, frantic thriller at times with background details given in between the tension…..plenty to keep you turning the pages, to keep you wondering……just why was Josie taken and will she be found?…a story of secrets and the consequences of our actions on others…the past will come back to haunt you !!! A clever psychological thriller.

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

 

Author Bio:

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Jake has been making stuff up from a real early age. His parents never believed his silly lies when he was young, so he still has no idea why he thought he could invent a decent story as an adult. But he kept trying, and here we are. THE CHOICE is his first novel, the first of three thrillers to be published by Bookouture, and he hopes you like it. If you don’t, he at least hopes you don’t ask for a refund.

Author Social Media Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jakecrossauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeCrossAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17625443.Jake_Cross

 

Book details
Author:     Jake Cross

Book:                   The Family Lie

Publication Day:  April 23rd 2019

Buy Link:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B07N8VVHGFSocial
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2t41M85
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2D1yls8
Googleplay: http://ow.ly/sLbg30nxGTv

Book reviews

The Inside City by Anita Mir – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

There are ancient walled cities all across the world. This story begins in Lahore’s walled, or inside city, as it is called in Urdu, in what was then India.

It’s fear, Khurshid thought, just fear. Unwatched, her face was grim.

Barefoot, she walked to the wall of her rooftop courtyard and looked out at the city she had, in just three months, begun to love: a bulking city ever teetering upwards, with its twelve giant gates which closed each night, keeping them safe, from predators and marauders, and Dar said, bad dreams, but he’d smiled, so she’d known he was joking, only not what he meant.

A pir (seer) predicts great things for a soon to be born born boy, Awais. The year is 1919 – the year of the Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) Massacre where anywhere from 379-1,000 unsuspecting peaceful protestors were killed by armed British troops. Politics is everywhere and on every tongue. Will the British go? Will they be booted out? And what will happen to India, then?

But Khurshid, Awais’s mother, cares nothing for all that. Her dreams are not of nationhood; they centre on her boy who will give, she’s sure, her life the meaning and beauty she’s craved for so very long. As they wait for the future to unfold, no-one notices how different Khurshid’s youngest daughter, Maryam, is. But then her secret is outed. Maryam has a superb gift for Maths.

Though she doesn’t want to think it, Khurshid begins to wonder if the pir (seer) had been right about the house but wrong about whom the gift of greatness was meant for. She checks herself but the idea grows and grows. She tries to teach Awais her burning overpowering hate. But Maryam is one of Awais’s two great loves. He can’t believe what his mother says. He can’t hate Maryam. Or, he wonders, can he?

Awais other great love is the inside city, which through a chance encounter, he has started to explore and to map. When Partition, brutal and horrendous, takes place in 1947, it is Awais knowledge of the inside city that will save lives. But will it be enough to save his family as well?

 

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MY REVIEW

Set in 1930’s Lahore, with the odd jump back to 1919, this is the story of Awais. A boy who survived influenza but was left a little sickly. But before his birth a Pir (holy man) told his mother Amrau, that he was destined for greatness and he would save a life…..Amrau was told to change her name to Khurshid…

His father Dar, wasn’t so sure.

But then Awais find the lost 13th gate of Lahore….is the prophecy coming true?

Don’t expect a simple tale, this is about life in turbulent times, about the love of family, political and brutal upheaval and ultimately hope. Beautiful language and imagery by Anita Mir….a treasure of writing and will stay with me for a long while……

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Anita was born in Lahore, Pakistan and came to England when she was four. She grew up in County Durham and Wales, and it was only when she moved to Lahore with her family in her late teens that it hit her that mornings weren’t supposed to be pitch black. Pakistan was a shock. And she stayed in shock. Is perhaps still in shock. But it was also love at first sight. Lahore Lahore hai/ Lahore is Lahore. Yep. Another thing that doesn’t quite translate.
Straight out of university, she applied for a job at a newspaper and for some strange reason, got it. Most of her work there was on human rights issues, particularly those pertaining to religious minorities and women. Her lighter pieces she wrote under a pseudonym, which, seven years later, her boss told her she’d spelt wrong.
From journalism, she ambled into development work. The best of her development work was when she was privileged to head two emergency programmes.
Anita kept on coming back to England then to Pakistan then…and one day (still plan-less), just stuck it out in London.
She writes fiction and plays, has had two shorts on (The Space and Soho), been longlisted for several prizes (The Bruntwood, the Soho/Verity Bargate, the Old Vic 12), and had a short story published this year in ‘New Welsh Review’. She likes hearing her director friends tell her, ‘Any minute, you’re going to break through’. In her more reflective moments, of which there are now few, she wonders what she’s supposed to break through to. And if, when she does, she’ll like it.
Anita lives in the un-trendy part of East London and when not teaching, can be found playing basketball with her boy, or else, pouring over Lego instructions with the zeal of someone who’s going to grow up to be a YouTube star.

 


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Book reviews

The Passing Tribute by Simon Marshall – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

In the tumultuous aftermath of the First World War the Wilson brothers head in opposite directions: Richard, interned in Austria throughout the conflict, returns to England; Edward, a junior officer, is dispatched from Italy to Vienna as part of the British Army s relief mission.

For Edward, it will be a return to the city and to love. But it will not be the same city: Vienna is no longer the administrative heart of an Empire, merely a provincial capital ravaged by starvation, and paralysed by the winter snows. Will it be the same love?

In London, Richard is employed in the ministerial heart of government, and soon dazzled by the Under Secretary s vision for a new, federal Europe. But for the new to exist the old must be replaced; and the Habsburg Emperor, on his estate near the Czech border, revolution all around, refuses to go. One man is sent to make sure that he does.

With the brothers estranged by distance and time, their lives become unknowingly entwined in a shadowy plot and it seems the end of the war is only the beginning of their struggle.

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MY REVIEW

Before you start reading this, I would get settled in a comfy chair and be prepared for a slow, thoughtful and unique read….it reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo….in that is seems experimental in its language and plot and more about the feeling and emotions it raises.

It’s a beautifully written tale of two brothers, and their lives after the war, the rebuilding of lives and society and politics… it’s beautifully poetic at times and there is a little humour too.

It uses the language of the early 20th century at the time of WW1, so can take a little getting used to..

I feel this is the kind of book to linger over and enjoy the language, it will be perfect for book clubs everywhere as there is so much to discuss.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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This is Simon’s second novel. In 2015 he self-published The Long Drawn Aisle, then immediately started work researching and writing The Passing Tribute.
A political historian at heart, Simon read modern history at UCL before gaining an MA distinction in Imperial and Commonwealth History at King’s College London. It was during these studies that his profound and ongoing fascination with the pre and post WW1 European settlement was stirred, and it has inspired both of his novels to date.


Simon was born and raised in London, but has lived and worked for most of the past decade in France. With youthful pretensions to screenwriting and poetry, prose has taken over and he has worked variously as a private tutor, English language teacher, assistant bar manager, gig economy dromedary, and Real Tennis professional. As The Long Drawn Aisle took him over ten years to write (and rewrite, and rewrite), he has therefore had plenty of time to immerse himself in all of these glorious postings. And long – says the man in short trousers – may it continue!


Twitter @LongDrawnAisle
Website: http://www.thelongdrawnaisle.com/.

 

Paperback: 288 pages
• Publisher: Unbound Digital (7 Mar. 2019)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 178965016X
• ISBN-13: 978-1789650167

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Passing-Tribute-Simon-Marshall/dp/178965016X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1553098848&sr=8-1&keywords=the+passing+tribute+simon+marshall

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

A Tale of Two Sisters by Merryn Allingham – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Separated by time and distance, two sisters seek answers for all they’ve lost

When Alice Verinder’s beloved sister Lydia goes missing, Alice boards the Orient Express bound for Topkapi Palace in Constantinople, determined to find her.
Lydia was governess to the Sultan’s young children and though her letters spoke of exotic delights and welcoming hosts, the reception Alice receives is decidedly cold and answers unforthcoming.


Now, as Alice digs deeper into the secrets of a land foreign to her she has only Englishman Harry Frome to help her. But as their search uncovers unforeseen dangers and exposes an unexpected ardour, is Alice ready for the truths they’ll uncover?


An emotional historical drama perfect for fans of Linda Finlay and Rosie Goodwin

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MY REVIEW

Set in the early twentieth century Turkey, and is so beautifully written you feel a part of the time and culture…

I found this to be a well plotted tale with enough mystery and twists to keep you engrossed and guessing right  to the end..

Lydia and Alice are sisters, but so different in outlook. Lydia is driven by what she feels is inequality and is full of life, but still not quite ready for what life throws at her. While Alice, is a homebody, and looks out for her family first and foremost….but who is the brave one in the end?

This is not a fast paced read, but one to settle down to and enjoy….it’s full of history with the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance adding to the suspense….with a little romance too…..a lovely, deep and emotion packed read.

Thank you to Canelo for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)
Kobo (UK)
Google Books (UK)
Apple Books (UK)

 

 

Author Bio:
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Merryn Allingham was born into an army family and spent her childhood moving around the UK and abroad. Unsurprisingly it gave her itchy feet and in her twenties she escaped from an unloved secretarial career to work as cabin crew and see the world.
Merryn  still loves to travel and visit new places, especially those with an interesting history, but the arrival of marriage, children and cats meant a more settled life in the south of England, where she has lived ever since. It also gave her the opportunity to go back to ‘school’ and eventually teach at university.
She has written seven historical novels, all mysteries with a helping of suspense and a dash of romance – sometimes set in exotic locations and often against a background of stirring world events.
For the latest news of Merryn’s writing, visit her website or join her on Facebook or twitter.

https://twitter.com/MerrynWrites





Title: A Tale of Two Sisters

Author Name: Merryn Allingham

Previous Books (if applicable): TBC

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 21st March 2019

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Suspicion by Leigh Russell – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Happily married to the charismatic headmaster of a prestigious boarding school, Louise thinks her life is perfect.

But after hearing that her husband is having an affair, Louise must decide how far she is prepared to go to save her marriage. Confident in her IT skills, Louise cyber bullies her rival.

When the police then become involved, Louise realises she has made a dangerous choice as first one woman, then another, is found murdered.

Realising she has taken on more than she intended, Louise has to make another choice, and this one could cost her not only her marriage, but also her life…
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MY REVIEW

Nick Kelly is the new Headteacher at the exclusive public school, Edleybury. With his wife Louise they are settling in and Nick has plans to update the school. They have a journalist, Rosie Whyte visiting to interview them as publicity for the school. When the interviews are over, Rosie approaches Louise and tells her, Nick is having an affair with his secretary Sue…she has pictures to prove it…….

Louise is so rocked by this, her marriage is so important to her…..she decides to use her IT skills and starts a campaign of hateful emails about Sue to force her to resign so life can go back to normal…..but then Sue takes her own life….

The police investigate and feel Louise knows more than she’s saying….that she may be responsible for the death……but then there’s another death….just who is responsible?

I am a fan of Leigh Russell’s writing, but this is my favourite so far….great characters and some really clever twists mean suspicion falls on so many…..this will keep you guessing right up to the last amazingly jaw dropping moments…..brilliant.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Leigh Russell, author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel crime series, has sold well over a million books worldwide.

Her novels have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Turkish. Reaching #1 on Kindle, her books have been selected as Best Fiction Book of the Year by the Miami Examiner, voted Best Crime Fiction Book of the Year in Crime Time, a Top Read on Eurocrime and shortlisted for the John Creasey New Blood CWA Dagger Award, long listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and a finalist for the People’s Book Prize.

Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English. She serves on the board of the Crime Writers Association, chairs the Debut Dagger Judges, and is a Royal Literary Fellow.

Facebook: facebook.com/leigh.russell.50
Twitter: @LeighRussell
Website: leighrussell.co.uk

Book reviews, Crime thriller, LGBTQ

Tainted Love by T S Hunter – Book Review and #Giveaway

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

SOME RELATIONSHIPS ARE JUST MURDER

It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town Joe and Chris grew up in.

When Chris is found brutally murdered, the police write his death off as another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. But Joe knows his best friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.

Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?

A noirish whodunit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.

TAINTED LOVE IS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SOHO NOIR SERIES OF COZY CRIME NOVELLAS.

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MY REVIEW 

This is set in 1980’s Soho, London in the gay club scene with music from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Soft Cell et al. 

Joe is visiting London to see his friend, Chris, who he has been besotted with since school. He’s good looking, confident and runs a fashion label with his business partner Gavin..

On a lively, fun night out Joe meets Luc a beautiful Frenchman and for the first time in his life he feels happy…..BUT….he sees Chris argue with Patty and the Lizard….(local gangster Tony.).

After a night of glorious passion with Luc, Joe heads back to Chris’ flat only to find him dead in a pool of blood. The police arrive, but due to the homophobia of Detective Skinner……they realise nothing will be done….it’s just another dead rent boy !!.

So, Joe and Russell, Chris’ housemate and ex-Police officer,  decide to investigate themselves….they find bad debts, a gangster, an MP, blackmail and love and passion in amongst discrimination and homophobia in this brilliant, vibrant novella.

I loved the writing by TS Hunter, it evokes the feel of London in the 80’s, the music and the atmosphere of Soho…with its neon lights (and clothing !)…in this cosy mystery…..with a distinct noir touch. 🌈🌈🌈

My thanks to Red Dog Press for the opportunity to read this and a free copy of the book and promotional materials. This is my honest and unbiased review 

GIVEAWAY

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We have put together a RaffleCopter Prize Giveaway of a Signed Copy of Tainted Love, a fabulous “Go Away I’m Reading” tote bag, a rainbow button badge, and some chocolate.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b5939c611/?

 

About the Author:

Claiming to be only half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back.

He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant.

He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction.

He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5.

 

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About the series:

The Soho Noir series is set in the decade of big hair, shoulder pads, pastel suits and bright, cheesy pop, in a part of London which, on the surface at least, seemed to accept and adore people from all walks of life—a melting pot of gender, sexuality, colour and race, where celebrities rubbed up against the average Joe in cafes, bars and hair salons on every street.

But the 1980s had a darker underbelly, even in Soho. This was a time when gay rights were hard fought, where the police actively targeted gay men as easy victims for arrest and extortion, the government deliberately restricted gay rights and the tabloids screamed about The Gay Plague—the AIDS epidemic. And yet, gay icons who would go on to endure lasting fame and success were springing up all over the pop and fashion world.

The 1980s forms a strangely fitting, sometimes nostalgic, always entertaining backdrop to this colourful series of cozy crime stories.

Noirish, sexy and delicious.

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Book reviews, Crime thriller

A Clean Canvas by Elizabeth Mundy – Book Review

 

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Crime always leaves a stain…


Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner, dusts off her detective skills when a masterpiece is stolen from a gallery she cleans with her cousin Sarika. When Sarika goes missing too, accusations start to fly.

Convinced her cousin is innocent, Lena sweeps her way through the secrets of the London art scene. But with the evidence against Sarika mounting and the police on her trail, Lena needs to track down the missing painting if she is to clear her cousin.

Embroiling herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters, Lena finds that there’s more to this gallery than meets the eye.

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MY REVIEW

Well this is quite unique, a crime thriller with no bodies, but an art theft…and Lena, a cleaner being an armature detective to solve the mystery…

Lena is Hungarian, intelligent and sharp, but still has a little difficulty understanding the quirks of the English language at times, which makers her even more endearing.

I found the story intriguing with plenty of twists to keep you engrossed. This is a well written, interesting and original mystery,  a refreshing change to the usual crime thrillers.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link – amzn.to/2VWJ3ZD


Author Bio –

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Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. An English Literature graduate from Edinburgh University, Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. A Clean Canvas is the second book in the Lena Szarka mystery series about a Hungarian cleaner who turns detective.

Social Media Links –
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy
www.elizabethmundy.com

 

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Book reviews

Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB

How far would you go to change humanity’s fate?

Jared Cartwright has spent the last two years delving into the twisted, scarred wastelands of an earth ravaged by nuclear war. The rich and powerful have taken to the oceans and skies on floating utopias, escaping destruction and leaving the rest of humanity to fend off the mutated creatures that roam the earth.

To face his new reality, Jared must become an apex predator if he hopes to survive. He must unlock his true potential to confront those that left mankind to die. With deadly adversaries above and below, Jared must evolve beyond mere human limitations to defeat the powerful rulers of the cities and the rabid beasts lurking in the shadows.

Jared’s quest takes a new turn when he discovers dragons are real.
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MY REVIEW

Set in a future post apocalyptic Earth, with many people and animals mutated by nuclear radiation….the remaining people use nanites in their bodies as a matter of course to make them stronger, quicker and heal faster…(reminded me a little of Piers Platt’s Rath novels)…

The main character is Jared, he roams around scavenging what he can to survive and top up his nanites….levelling up!

He finds and steals an egg from a nest……and mummy dragon is not pleased….yes I did say DRAGON….but as the egg hatches Jared bonds with Scarlet, he is in the dark, but she speaks to him……and she finds him a worthy man and while he recovers, he is upgraded. Then Scarlet becomes the matriarchal dragon and together they travel on a quest to free the remaining dragons, imprisoned underground by tyrannical humans !

I adore Scarlet, powerful, smart and with a dry wit, their squabbles are so much fun. Jared, is a conflicted soul, he’s a good man and hates to hurt anything but circumstances mean it can’t be avoided as they fight for their lives against many mutated creatures…including bunnies and believe me they are not cuddly…(no Xenomorph’s luckily!)

Richard Hummel’s writing is detailed, exciting, fun and fast paced, the world building is incredible and I can’t wait for the next adventure……

My many thanks to Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services for a free copy of this ebook, as I may not have discovered this marvellous novel otherwise. This is my honest and unbiased review.