Book reviews

Roam by Erik Therme – Book Review and Giveaway

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When Kevin finds Sarah stranded by the side of the road, he’s more than willing to give her a ride. Young, beautiful and distraught—she’s everything a single guy could ask for in a girl. What he doesn’t know is that she already has a guy: an abusive, drunken boyfriend who left her there in a fit of rage. And when that boyfriend comes back and finds Sarah missing, a simple ride will turn deadly.

Like Josh Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.

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MY REVIEW 

Sarah has a controlling boyfriend, Matt. On her 21st birthday, he gets drunk and when her car breaks down, he gets nasty. Sarah, scared for er safety, decides to walk to find help, alone.

She is picked up by Kevin, who says he will drop her at home….when at home she has an argument with her mother and leaves……nearly getting run down, it turns out to be Kevin. He offers to drive her anywhere she needs to go….he likes to do two good deeds a day!  Sarah says she wants to find her friend, Scotty, so off they go.

As they get to know each other, Sarah begins to have feelings for Kevin…..does he feel the same?

Then there’s Scotty, a troubled young man to say the least…..his mum has died, his dad is brutal and he sees things.

Eventually, after near assaults and violence, they meet up…..but who is lurking in the dark?

This is a tale of troubled youth, of absent or abusive parents and the effect this has on the minds and bodies of the young. Brutal, scary and heartbreaking at times, this is a fast, gripping read.

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side 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.

 

Author Bio:

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Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErikTherme.writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErikTherme

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7831573.Erik_Therme

Blog: NAWebsite: https://eriktherme.com

Erik is also running a give away for a reader to win either a digital copy of Roam which is open world wide or an audio copy of the book of which is only open to UK & US readers.

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Roam-Erik-Therme-ebook/dp/B01MSAA345

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roam-Erik-Therme-ebook/dp/B01MSAA345

Audible US: https://www.amazon.com/Roam/dp/B0722RN6WD/

Audible UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roam/dp/B071DXVC73/

Book reviews, Fantasy

In Truth, Madness by Imran Khan – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In Truth, Madness is the fictional story of a correspondent driven to despair by the Middle East and South Asia. A reporter strives to find the truth. The more truth they find, the more maddening the world becomes.

Meet Malek Khalil. In his mid-40s, Malek is a brilliant reporter with decades of experience in the field. If there has been a war, natural disaster or political crisis, Malek has been there and will be there.

But the years of conflict reporting have taken their toll and Malek is slowly unravelling. His colleagues, Neeka and Justin, have noticed a change in him. Neeka should know, she has been his producer for decades and knows him better than he knows himself. Justin the cameraman has shot his material for just as long. Together they make a formidable team. But they are only as strong as each other – and Malek is fast going down the rabbit hole.

Born a Muslim but an atheist to his core, Malek undertakes a voyage that takes him around the world and back in time to ancient Babylon as he finds himself arguing with a God in whom he doesn’t believe.

The novel takes place throughout the Middle East, South Asia and London where the backdrop of war, religion, political skullduggery and love play out to take the reader on a journey through some of the most dangerous parts of modern culture and the ancient world.

 

PRAISE

“Life on the road was never this much fun! All reporters should time travel!” – Adrian Finighan. Senior anchor, Al Jazeera English

“A darkly comic tale artfully blending mysticism and current affairs’ – Arwa Damon Senior International Correspondent”

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MY REVIEW 

This is a clever mix of gritty journalism and a fantasy tale…..all told with a lively humour.

There is history, religion and politics in regions around the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. A mix of current affairs, myth and time travel.

Malek also finds a wondrous book that downloads to his Kindle and here he finds he has a theological debate with a mystery voice…..is it God?

A beautifully written, original and engaging read. 

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 and this is my honest, unbiased review

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Having kickstarted his career in the heady world of 1990s independent magazine publishing with work on Dazed and Confused, and launching seminal style title 2nd Generation, Imran Khan jumped into the mainstream with BBC London – hosting radio shows on popular culture, arts and news as the millennium approached. Despite having a face for radio, in 2001 he produced a series of short documentaries for BBC Newsnight, Britain’s leading current affairs programme. His work was noticed in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and Channel 4 commissioned the award-winning film “The Hidden Jihad”, which he wrote and presented. Imran subsequently moved full-time into TV news, working as a BBC producer and correspondent reporting from Lebanon, London and Qatar, with freelance stints in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He became a correspondent for Al Jazeera English in 2005 and is known for his extensive reporting from Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Libya, as well covering the Arab Spring and the conflict in Syria. He continues to work as a correspondent for Al Jazeera English, dividing his time between the Middle East, South Asia and London.

Book reviews, Crime thriller

A Killing Fire by Faye Snowden – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The first time Raven Burns saw her father kill, the victim was her mother. Afterwards, Floyd “FIRE” Burns set the house on fire, making Raven watch as the flames slithered across the yard like some unknowable language. Then he took her on a multi-state killing spree. She could’ve told or killed him in his sleep. But there were his constant whispers, his wet lips close to her ear saying that little girls who told were sent to hell, and their mothers were called down from heaven to take care of them.

By the time he is executed, Raven has become a cop with the sole purpose of putting men like him away. But she can’t escape Floyd’s terrorizing voice in her head, somehow guiding her steps while reminding her of the horrors he had forced her to witness. And she can’t escape the questions that continue to haunt her: Did witnessing make her complicit? Had the same evil that lived in her father taken residence in her soul?

The town of Byrd’s Landing, Louisiana appears to have made up its mind. The community accepts that Raven had nothing to do with Floyd’s crimes. But when Raven shoots a teenager who points, what turns out to be, an unloaded weapon at her, stories about Floyd resurface. The whispers begin. No voice is louder than wealthy socialite Hazel Westcott. When Westcott turns up dead in the backyard of her Big Bayou Lake estate, the doubting voices reach a deafening crescendo, and the ghosts of her past rise up to greet her. To catch Westcott’s killer, Raven must come to terms once and for all with who she is. And who she is not.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

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MY REVIEW

Raven Burns is a Detective in the Byrds Landing Police Department, She is also the daughter of an executed serial killer. Floyd ‘Fire’ Burns.

She is called to a body of a young woman, no immediate sign of foul play, but the investigation begins….while searching young Hazel’s room, Raven finds something that brings back memories of her father……a peacock feather.

As the investigation progresses, there are more deaths and those close to Raven are in danger…..just who is trying to set her up? And why?

Set in Louisiana, with great characters and an intense plot, this is a dark and gripping crime thriller that keeps you hooked from start to finish.

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  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2YOHYIb

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Faye Snowden is the author of three published mysteries with Kensington— Spiral of Guilt (1999), The Savior (2003, 2004) and Fatal Justice (2005, 2006). She has published short stories and poems in various literary journals and small presses including The African American Review, Calliope, Red Ochre Lit, Bay Area Poets Coalition and Occam’s Razor. A new book, A Killing Fire (Flame Tree Press) will make its debut in August, 2019.

Although born in San Fernando, California, she was uprooted while young to a place where supposedly people had swamps in their backyards and alligators for pets. She didn’t have any pet alligators in Shreveport, Louisiana, but an amazing, resourceful single mother raised the family of six in a shotgun house. And she had a cat named Blue.

At eighteen, Faye left Louisiana to join the Navy. The Navy gave her an opportunity to spend some time living in Naples, Italy and on both US coasts—Washington, DC and northern California. After the Navy, she went to work as an information technology professional in various industries while on her way to a masters in English literature.

Aside from her publications, she also managed two boys, a husband, five dogs and three writing fellowships following those years. Today, Faye works and writes from her home in Northern California. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Science fiction

Comatose by Tony Estrella – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A fast-paced speculative thriller about the science of sleep and dreams by an international healthcare and lucid dreaming expert.

Author Tony Estrella brings together is experienced in healthcare, futurist and lucid dreaming expert into a riveting speculative novel that will change your perceptions on why we dream.

Lucid dreaming is knowing when you are dreaming and taking control of your dreams. Many people, including top athletes, use lucid dreaming to practice real-life skills, improve mental preparation for important events, think creatively or problem-solve. Most people have had lucid dreams as children, but even adults can learn techniques to dream lucidly.   

Comatose follows the lives of four strangers who are trying to cheat death. On the surface, these people – a famous Hollywood director suffering from terminal brain cancer, a budding scientist in Artificial Intelligence whose honeymoon tragically ended with a freak plane accident, an angry orphan who lost her closest family to a tragic accident, and the leading medical expert in treating comatose patients – appear to have nothing in common.

However, once they independently uncover a link between lucid dreaming and comas, their lives start to intersect. They uncover astounding opportunities to ease individual suffering and pain as they crisscross different time periods and distant locations in their odysseys. The competing factions careen forward into a life-threatening race for survival and supremacy, ultimately leading to an exciting conclusion that explains why we really dream.

MY REVIEW 

Comatose revolves around five characters:

Sumire who on her honeymoon with Fernando was involved in an air incident and ended up in a coma….

Fernando is an AI developer and Dr Hajji is Sumire’s Doctor, a specialist in coma…and he understands what Fernando is going through due to losing his own wife…

Daya, who has been in a coma, but awakened, only to recall a dream and Him…..he left her and she is trying to see him again in her dreams…Dr Hajji is monitoring her.

Arnold has stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme and is trying to extend his life by using meditation to lower his metabolism and is considering cryogenesis at one point (I can understand his fear though)…

Are dreams a glimpse into an alternate reality? 

A very interesting, intriguing tale full of emotion and the science of sleep, coma and AI…Unique and compelling.

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2YKDh2n

 

About the Author

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TONY ESTRELLA has worked in Asia, the US, and Europe as health startup founder & investor, corporate innovation leader, and strategic advisor. Tony is a regular speaker and panelist at industry conferences around the world. During his talks, he provides insights as a serial healthcare entrepreneur and a corporate executive. Comatose, his first novel was selected as a Semi-Finalist by the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative writing competition.

Tony is an alumnus of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (MBA), London Business School, and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (Electrical Engineering). Tony currently resides in Singapore with his wife and daughter.

More information about Tony Estrella and Comatose can be found at:

http://www.tonyestrella.com

Book reviews, Dystopian fiction

The Warehouse by Rob Hart – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB  

‘TO BEAT THE SYSTEM, YOU NEED TO BE INSIDE IT’

An immersive dystopian thriller set in an America addicted to consumerism; gun violence, climate change and unemployment have ravaged the nation, and an online retail giant named Cloud reigns supreme. Rob Hart has taken our current reality and transformed it into a terrifyingly recognisable future.

Paxton never thought he’d be working Security for the company that ruined his life, much less that he’d be moving into one of their sprawling live-work facilities. But compared to what’s left outside, perhaps Cloud isn’t so bad. Better still, through his work he meets Zinnia, who fills him with hope for their shared future.

Except that Zinnia is not what she seems. And Paxton, with his all-access security credentials, might just be her meal ticket.

As Paxton and Zinnia’s agendas place them on a collision course, they’re about to learn just how far the Cloud will go to make the world a better place. 

The Warehouse is brilliantly devised and fantastic world-building. Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business–and who will pay the ultimate price.

Perfect for fans of The Circle, The Martian and Ready Player One.

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MY REVIEW

The Warehouse is probably one of the most terrifying novels I’ve read as it feels so plausible and that we are only a few years behind when this will be our lives…..

We nearly all rely on certain large e-commerce companies and the boxes they deliver to our doors…..from cotton wool balls to bookcases and everything in between……as Will Smith so succinctly puts it in iRobot ‘shitting on the little guy’.

The Cloud is one such business, it’s employees work, socialise and live in the same complex..cash is obsolete and CloudBurgers are the best food around…..(that still makes me shudder)…..

Paxton, used to have a company of his own but now applies for a job at cloud with the intent of meeting Gibson, the creator of Cloud…..

Zinnia, is a corporate spy…she has applied for a job at Cloud….as she is being paid to get secrets…

These two meet and have a relationship…..each keeping secrets from the other…they are only there for one reason, but is life in Cloud all bad? The world outside, it’s trouble with global warming, poverty, unemployment,  the gun violence and hate that seems to be taking over (sound familiar?) seems so far away in the cocoon of Cloud.

The chapters are written from three perspectives, Gibson, Paxton and Zinnia and tells how and why Cloud was created, it’s plans for the future….it’s all one big ‘family’..it gives their inner thoughts and plans…will they carry these out or will they settle into Cloud life? Red or Blue shirt….just not Pink!

All is not as it seems though in this dystopian tale that feels prescient and the power these companies wield is what makes this so utterly scary. Will Zinnia complete her task, Will Paxton become a company guy? Just how far will Cloud go to keep its secrets?

A completely mesmerising and compelling tale of our possible future…..absolutely petrifying and brilliant……a MUST read cautionary tale.

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  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here ( I feel bad putting an Amazon link here……go to a shop!)

https://amzn.to/2N2dBae

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

  • The film rights have been sold for a six figure sum after a five-way auction to Brian Grazer at Imagine Entertainment with Ron Howard set to direct, fresh from the Star Wars: Solo movie.
  • Book rights already sold in 15 territories and counting and a major publication in the States. This is going to be the book everyone is talking about in August.
  • Rob decided to write the book because of  this news story – the tragic death of Maria Fernandes who suffocated in her car whilst napping between her three shifts a day at different Dunkin Donuts stores.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rob Hart has been a political reporter, the communications director for a politician, a commissioner for the city of New York and is currently a publisher. The Warehouse is his first standalone novel.

 

 

 

EARLY PRAISE FOR THE WAREHOUSE

 

‘The Warehouse is an inventive, addictive, Crichton-esque, page-turning, near-future dystopian thriller about a corporation ruling over every aspect of our late-capitalism lives. While I hope Rob hasn’t been sent back from the future to warn us, we should heed him regardless.’

Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World

 

“The Warehouse is an absolute thriller. Using wit, insight and masterful story-telling, Rob Hart has written a riveting tale that reflects on the state of humanity and where we might be heading. Be prepared for the unexpected and to look at our world through a new, twisted lens.”

Ashlee Vance, author of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

 

“On the surface, The Warehouse is a thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level, but dig a little deeper, and you’ll find a terrifying cautionary tale of the nightmare world we are making for ourselves—where our reliance upon e-commerce giants is turning them into malevolent entities more powerful than government.”

Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

 

“Fast-paced and unputdownable, thrilling and ominous, The Warehouse is a terrifying object lesson of a story that will haunt you each time you see a box on the front step—and yet make you wonder what colour your shirt will be, one day.”

Delilah S. Dawson, New York Times bestselling author of Wake of Vultures and Phasma

 

“I loved The Warehouse, although and because it made my blood run cold. The world Rob Hart creates is what our world could be by this time next year. Watching these oh so human characters try to cope, even thrive, in their new normal makes one alternately hopeful and despairing.”

SJ Rozan, author of Ghost Hero and Absent Friends

 

Book reviews, YA fiction

The Wild Book by Juan Villoro – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Middle Grade Fiction / Age Range: 10–14

The Wild Book is the YA debut of one of Mexico’s foremost authors: a wondrous adventure story of a boy who goes to live with his kooky, book-obsessed uncle in a library where books have supernatural powers.

Thirteen-year-old Juan’s summer is off to a terrible start. First, his parents separate. Then, almost as bad, Juan is sent away to his strange Uncle Tito’s house for the entire holiday! Who wants to live with an oddball recluse who has zigzag eyebrows, drinks fifteen cups of smoky tea a day, and lives inside a huge, mysterious library?

As Juan adjusts to his new life among dusty shelves, he notices something odd: the books move on their own! He rushes to tell Uncle Tito, who lets his nephew in on a secret: Juan is a Princeps Reader, which means books respond magically to him, and he’s the only one who can find the elusive, never-before-read Wild Book. But will Juan and his new friend Catalina get to The Wild Book before the wicked, story-stealing Pirate Book does?

An unforgettable adventure story about books, libraries, and the power of reading.

Shy and uncertain, Juan learns from his uncle what makes him special, and how to embrace his uniqueness.

Featuring both a child of marital separation and a blind character, The Wild Book offers an opportunity for parents to introduce their children to the important issues of divorce and disability. Braille books are a major plot point, and there is no line drawn between the disabled and abled: we are all just lovers of stories.

The Wild Book is a YA debut by one of Mexico’s best-known authors. It has sold over 1.3 million copies in Spanish.
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MY REVIEW 

“And that’s how my time in the labyrinth of books began “

Juan is sent to stay with his Uncle Tito after his parents separate and his mum needs a little time on her own. Uncle Tito’s house is quite literally full of books, from floor to ceiling…”a library is a collection of souls”

Uncle Tito is an eccentric with an absolute passion for books and reading…..but he is searching for one elusive book and he feels Juan will be able to find it as he is super special. With Juan in the house he is no longer lonely and they forge a special bond.

Juan is at first a little unsure, he gets lost in the house and books, carrying with him a little bell at all times. He then meets Catalina, a girl in the nearby pharmacy and together they bring life to the house and Uncle Tito…..will they find The Wild Book?

I know this is a middle grade book but oh my, I absolutely adore it. It captures the love of books and how they have a different meaning to each reader. It is so full of marvellous descriptions that I could write a whole post just using quotes…it is truly special and with its magic, will appeal to book lovers everywhere and of all ages. 

“Every Book is like a mirror, it reflects what you think.”

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  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2YZxFQP

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Juan Villoro is Mexico’s most prolific, prize-winning author, playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. His books have been translated into multiple languages. Several of his books have appeared in English, including his celebrated 2016 essay collection on soccer, God Is Round (Restless Books). Villoro lives in Mexico City and is a visiting lecturer at Yale and Princeton universities.8

Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and translator of books. He lives in Madrid and New York City. HopeRoad, set up in 2012, specialises in writers and writing from and about Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Their aim is

to give a voice to writers and stories that might otherwise be missed by the mainstream book trade.

 

PRAISE

 

This is a beautifully written ode to the inherent magic of books and reading. … Translated by award-winning Lawrence Schimel, Juan Villoro’s prose is lovely and clear. Villoro, ‘Mexico’s Updike,’ is his nation’s most prolific, prize-winning writer. The Wild Book is no exception within his canon. Each of the twenty-one chapters is accompanied by Eko’s stunning woodcut-style illustrations, depicting books with teeth and pages flying. Deserving a place beside classics like The Phantom Tollbooth and Half-Magic, The Wild Book is a timeless celebration of reading.’

Claire Foster, Foreword Reviews, Five-Star Review

 

‘For me, when it comes to good writing, texts are alive and living among us, no matter the genre. Juan Villoro’s The Wild Book — a story in which books themselves are characters — is an especially good example…. In Uncle Tito’s library, the books choose their readers. So Villoro’s novel chose me…. Equal parts ecology and magical realism, Villoro explores the nature of literature and reading. The best stories are wild, after all…. Villoro entrusts young readers to care for and sustain the magic — and in doing so, takes them seriously. But the novel is also generous with its adults…. Villoro’s novel illuminates why YA literature has such a large adult readership. Even as we age, or perhaps especially then, our purpose is not to tame our life stories — but rather to allow them their wild lives.’

Kristin Van Tassel, Los Angeles Review of Books

 

‘This quirky tale – originally published in Mexico – is a delight, giving books a life of their own. Before long, you’ll see your reading list in a whole new way…. The Wild Book has a classic, magical feel, but it’s also grounded in reality, as we see Juan coming to terms with his parents’ separation and his feelings for Catalina, the girl who works in the local pharmacy…. A must-read for book-lovers everywhere.’

BookTrust, Five-Star Review

 

‘Villoro’s lighthearted and timeless voice makes it easy to suspend any disbelief and revel in the bookish magic.’

Caitlin Kling, Booklist

 

‘A rewarding and bewitching story which goes to the heart of why books are so powerful and incredible…. The Wild Book is a paean to the potential of books. If you consider yourself a bibliophile, this, quite simply, is a must-read. In some ways a Library of The Shadow of the Wind for younger readers, The Wild Book luxuriously riffs on how books can be mirrors and windows…. Delicate, fine and surprising turns of phrase pack this novel, originally published in Mexico, mixing moments of humour with splashes of original beauty. The smooth and seamless translation is a delight, as are the glimpses into another culture…. Apart from the glorious celebration of stories, I also loved how The Wild Book movingly and sensitively navigates a teenage boy’s changing relationship with some of the adults in his life…. The emotional sensitivity of Villoro’s novel is nuanced and subtle. Perfect for intrepid book explorers who relish getting lost inside the pages of a book, The Wild Book is a dazzling adventure you’ll not want to miss.’

Zoe Toft, Playing by the Book

 

‘Rich on multiple levels, a cast of colorful characters, plots and twists galore, and plenty of humor, author Juan Villoro weaves his words with a style that will delight older kids, start to finish, making The Wild Book a wild ride, indeed.’ Kendal A. Rautzhan, The Port Huron Times Herald

 

‘This book is awesome. It is very interesting; there are just so many books, and it strikes on so many topics. It is also a great adventure story, one that is even believable because the author’s name is also Juan, so that is really funny. I like how the Wild Book acts – the books are characters in this story, too, and some of them become good friends with Juan and help him. This is a great story for anyone who loves books like I do!’

Raifl – Age 9, Kids’ Book Buzz, Five-Star Review

 

‘Brings to mind the same ecstatic thrill I felt reading The Phantom Tollbooth as a child, Fahrenheit 451 as a teen, and Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore as an adult. I’m absolutely envious of the young readers who are about to discover the magic of Juan Villoro’s The Wild Book.’

David Gonzalez, Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The School Run by Helen Whitaker – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

‘Funny and frank’ DAWN O’PORTER 

‘Truly brilliant’ EMMA GANNON

Two mothers. Two daughters. One school place.

Imogen and Lily are old friends – they’ve shared hangovers, unsuitable boyfriends and wild nights out together. But now they’re mums, and their partying days are behind them.

When a place comes up at one of the best primary schools in the area, both women want it for their daughters. From faking religious beliefs to bogus break-ups, Imogen and Lily will go to any lengths to secure the perfect school for their children – and so will all the other mothers.

Will their friendship survive the strain? Will their marriages take the pressure? And when a sexy new vicar arrives on the scene, will the mothers’ keep focus for long enough to keep their eyes on the prize?

A hilarious, heartwarming read, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Fiona Gibson.
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MY REVIEW 

The School Run is a quick, fun read that will resonate with all parents trying to find a good school place for their children.

This shows the extent some people will go to get that elusive place, although I’m sure most people do not go the the extreme lengths like Lily and Imogen..

There are some serious subjects, which I felt were written in a very sensitive manner and the emotions are so real you will feel the frustrations and disappointments.  With great characters and laugh out loud moments, a perfect summer read.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers 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.

You can buy a copy here (only .99p on Kindle too)

https://amzn.to/2MYZdQe

 

Book reviews, Thriller

The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fifth novel.

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time. 

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MY REVIEW 

24 year old Rowan Caine works for Little Nippers, a nursery in London. One day browsing she sees an advert for an incredibly well paid, live in nanny vacancy, working for the Elincourt family.

Bill and Sandra are architects who love in a remote area of Scotland….this is an opportunity too good to miss. So Rowan applies, her stunning CV should hopefully be enough…..

She is invited to Scotland for an interview and when she arrives, she realises how much she wants this position….the house is Victorian on the outside and almost futuristic on the inside…with the ever present Happy.

As she leaves, young Maddie whispers to warn her not to take the job, the ghosts wouldn’t like it…!

Rowan is offered the job, leaves her life in London and joins the Elincourt family….only for Bill and Sandra to leave on a works trip, so Rowan is left with Maddie, Ellie and Petra and of course Happy…the house automation, surveillance system. Oh and Jack the handyman…

What follows is a creepy tale, told from Rowan’s perspective and her letters to her solicitor……you see she has been accused of murdering one of the girls!! 

With the creepy house, footsteps in the attic, a poison garden and secrets, this is an incredibly intense, tension packed gothic thriller…..with a completely gasp inducing ending…..I loved it.

Thank you to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read this for free. this is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Crime thriller

The Decoy by Florrie Palmer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the rural English village of Heronsford, Eliza and Jay Armstrong live in the farmhouse Eliza was brought up in. Her now elderly mother lives in a small converted barn close by.

Surrounded by friends, the Armstrongs appear to have an idyllic life. But when two members of their social group die in suspicious circumstances, a cloud falls over the village. 

Are the deaths linked? And were they really accidents? 

One of the villagers believes they have the answers and is prepared to risk everything to get to the truth…

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MY REVIEW 

In the idyllic village of Heronsford, friends, family and neighbours regularly meet up for weekly socialising and the local pub…

There’s, Eliza and husband Jay and mum Annie, Actress Francesca, wealthy Bob and Stella, Kate and Hamish and Louise and Patrick.

One day Louise’ body is found in their pool and it’s thought possible suicide. Then Stella’s little dog is found dead in a pond….along with petty vandalism the villages takes a sinister turn and everyone is on edge…then another body is found …just  who wants these women dead and why?

This is not a fast paced read, but a slow burn, with a sense of tension cleverly building right up to the heartbreaking end. A classic english whodunnit.

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

You can buy a copy here (only .99p too for Kindle at the moment )

https://amzn.to/2KIA9tK

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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One of the first British female singer-songwriters, Florrie’s songs have been recorded by many including Abba blonde Agnetha Faltskog, Manfred Mann, Mike Rutherford of Genesis, Elaine Paige and Sheena Easton. Her biggest hits were recorded by Sheena Easton who hit the number one spot in America for 6 weeks with 9-5 (Morning Train) resulting in a platinum record followed by a number 12 with When He Shines.

In 1994, Florrie wrote a comic novel based on her experiences in the music business called Never Final Till it’s Vinyl.

The Decoy is her first venture into crime fiction. She is currently writing her second. Having lived in various English counties as well as the so

Book reviews, Fantasy, Science fiction

The Undoing Of Arlo Knott by Heather Child – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

WHAT IF YOUR LIFE HAD AN ‘UNDO’ BUTTON?

Arlo Knott develops the mysterious ability to reverse his last action. It makes him able to experience anything, to charm any woman and impress any friend. His is a life free of mistakes, a life without regret.

But second chances aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. As wonderful as his new life is, a mistake in Arlo’s traumatic childhood still haunts him and the temptation to undo, undo and keep undoing could be too much to resist.

Mainstream crossover fiction for fans of Matt Haig, Gail Honeyman and Rowan Coleman, from the author of Everything About You.

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MY REVIEW 

This starts with young Arlo helping his mum in the garden, he’s holding the ladder for her while she sands down some woodwork. He is then distracted by a slowworm and moves away from the ladder……..the tragedy that follows haunts him with guilt….could a slight boy have actually made a difference…?

Arlo then discovers he has a ‘gift’….he can jump back in time a few seconds….with practice this gets a little longer….at first he uses it to get himself out of situations, like eating his nans shortbread, or breaking something….but then he starts using it for his own gain, revenge on a bully, chatting to girls. Somehow just knowing what to say!

He becomes a selfish, self centred young man and takes advantage of many people…but then he falls in love with Sabra, a musician, who came into his life due to an accident that he had caused…….it changed her life plans forever.

While this all seems so lucky, Arlo is always tormented by his actions and never really satisfied with anything and this is a tale of sadness and a bit of melancholy….so many what if I’s?……his gift is a bit of a curse. Can Arlo come to realise his actions have far greater consequences…..? Or will this be his undoing?

I found this to be a captivating read, beautifully written and so thought provoking……who hasn’t had moments of regret and wondering….what if? I can thoroughly recommend it and this will be a must read for Book clubs everywhere.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers 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.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2YyALMi

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Heather Child’s experience in digital marketing has brought her into close contact with the automation and personalisation technologies that herald the ‘big data’ age, She lives in Bristol and Everything About You was her debut novel.

Book reviews, LGBTQ, Uncategorised

The Homeless Heart-Throb by Crystal Jeans – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Alternately hilarious, shocking and sad, Crystal Jeans’ latest novel is set in Cardiff. But perhaps not the Cardiff the urban planners and WAG mavens would use in their shiny advertising campaigns.

Each chapter is narrated by different characters linked by the street on which most of them live and the appearance in them all (to greater or lesser extent) of the title character the alcoholic vagrant who for one of the neighbours is an unusual subject of desire. Set in various homes, streets and parks, and a nearby care home for the demented elderly the story lines are darkly humorous and occasionally rude and crude – up front portrayals of people on the frontline of urban poverty, disenfranchisement, drug culture and unappreciated but essential work lives. Lit up with authentic characters and appealing voices, and the full gamut of human relationships platonic, romantic and sexual this is an unputdownable journey into the underside of contemporary Wales.

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MY REVIEW 

Where do I start? This has to be one of the more unique reads I’ve had. Set in a small neighbourhood in Wales,  this is a collection of seemingly separate stories, but each has a link…..The Monsterberry Crush…..a homeless man who is never without alcohol.

There is a death, a woman with a sexual fantasy about the pee soaked Monsterberry, an artist who sits watching her neighbours, a care home for elderly dementia patients and a carer at the end of her tether, a shit soaked adult nappy, a goldfish and a social experiment with jars of rice.

This is full of human interactions in all their glory, eccentric, emotional, completely dysfunctional, grim, gritty and so very funny…..so real and utterly compelling, this will stay with me for a long time.

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  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2TkFbkk

 

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Crystal Jeans was born and brought up in Cardiff. She lived in Bristol before doing first a Creative Writing BA then an MPhil at the University of Glamorgan. She works in a care home, which inspired a collection of poetry about dementia (Mulfran Press). She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2010), had poetry published by Seren Press, and two short stories published by New Welsh Review.

 

SHORTLISTED FOR THE POLARI FIRST BOOK PRIZE 2017

 

A heart-warming, occasionally scabrous insight into growing up wild in the 1990s when your family didn’t quite fit in. ‘It’s funny, it’s fiery, it inhabits the voice of

its unforgettable characters … Crystal is a top stylist with a soaring mind.’ New Welsh Review.

 

WINNER OF THE WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR, ENGLISH FICTION, 2018

a “funny, dark, shocking and warm novel which propels us through a week in its main character’s life and his journey of self-discovery”. Wales Book of the Year judges.

“convincing, moving, funny, flawlessly sustained, and utterly compelling.” Niall Griffiths

Light Switches Are My Kryptonite

ISBN: 9781909983588

 

KEY SELLING POINTS:

 From Wales Book of the Year award winning and Bridport Prize and Polari Prize shortlisted author

 Will appeal to those who love the novels and stories of Niall Griffiths and Rachel Tresize

 Find Crystal at: @crystaljeans1 https://crystaljeans.wordpress.com/

 Extracts published in New Welsh Review

 

Book reviews, Cosy mystery, LGBTQ

Careless Whisper by T S Hunter – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

LOOSE LIPS COST LIVES.

It’s 1986, and Adam Cave, lead singer of sensational pop group Loose Lips, is struggling to stay in the closet, especially as his group is going through a messy split, and media speculation about the reasons behind it are rife.

Joe Stone is assigned to Adam as a runner for the behind-the-scenes, warts and all expose of the recording of the bands last album, and an unlikely friendship begins to form.

But when Adam’s manager, Jack Eddy, is found dead in Adam’s hotel room, in what looks like a sex game gone wrong, Joe turns to his flatmate, Russell, to help him clear the pop star’s name, and keep his secret.

Russell, meanwhile, has a secret of his own. He’s just been for a test, the results of which may change his life forever.

 

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MY REVIEW 

#3 In The Soho Noir series….Don’t you just love the cover?

Set in Soho, London in 1986, a time of crimped hair, Marathon bars and the Bangles….

Joe has said goodbye to his boyfriend, the gorgeous Luc, because he didn’t want to settle down yet…he’s not the ‘pop loving club-bunny’ that Luc called him but neither is he ready for pipe and slippers, so they part.

Joe is a runner now, working for PJ as he is working on an expose of life in the band, Loose Lips….Adam Cave, the lead singer and he has a secret….he’s gay..his manager Jack feels it should be kept from Adam’s adoring teenage girl fans…his band mates, the twins think the same…

But then Jack is found dead, Adam is arrested for murder…..and Joe and Russell begin the investigation….will they find the truth?

A wonderful, cosy crime mystery all set in the 80’s, with its music, fashion, homophobia and the affect AIDS had on so many people…brilliant characters and so atmospheric……I can’t wait to read more of Joe, Russell and the fabulous Patty.

Thank you to RedDog Press for a copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

We Were Sisters by Wendy Clarke – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

I turn to where I left my baby in his pushchair and pull up short. With a racing heart, I look around wildly, fear gripping my stomach. I only looked away for a moment. The pushchair and my baby are gone. 

Kelly is taking her twin daughters to their first day of school, ushering them into the classroom, her heartbreaking to think they might not need her anymore, when she turns around and sees that her newborn baby is gone.

As a desperate search ensues, baby Noah is quickly found – parked in front of a different classroom. But when Kelly reaches forward to comfort him, she finds something tucked beside his blanket. A locket that belonged to her sister Freya. A locket Kelly hasn’t seen since the day Freya died.

And then Kelly’s perfectly-ordered life begins to unravel…

We Were Sisters is a heart-pounding suspense thriller that will grip you until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train won’t be able to stop reading this incredible book.

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MY REVIEW 

Kelly has three children, twins Isabella and Sophie, and baby Noah. She is struggling a bit with baby Noah as he doesn’t sleep and her anxiety is sometimes too much. She counts, as this seems to calm her….if she can count to twenty before Noah wakes then everything will be ok…even down to the steps between lampposts, just to calm down…

Then one day, Noah’s pram is moved and she finds a locket in his blankets….she recognises it…..it belonged to Freya, her sister who died many years ago.

Is lack of sleep causing her to imagine things or is someone trying to send her a message?

This is told from Kelly’s point of view, both Kelly before and Kelly now….showing her loveless childhood and her relationship with Freya…..the heartbreak of her death and the secrets kept by her parents…

It also covers the care and foster system and the effects of constantly moving children around different homes and the trauma this can cause. A truly emotional, gripping psychological thriller full of secrets and breathtaking revelations…I can thoroughly recommend it…..

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. This is my in honest, unbiased review. 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07RSB413TSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2HgJt7O

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2LF8uOl

Googleplay: http://bit.ly/2LFPuix

 

 

Author Bio:

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Wendy Clarke started her career writing short fiction and serials for national women’s magazines. After having over three hundred short stories published, she progressed to writing novels. With a degree in psychology, and intrigued with how the human mind can affect behaviour, it was inevitable that she would eventually want to explore her darker side.

What She Saw is her debut psychological thriller, published by Bookouture, with a second coming out in August 2019.

In her previous life, Wendy has published three collections of short stories and has been a short story judge for the Chiltern Writers Group, Nottingham Writers Group and The Society of Women Writers and journalists.

Wendy lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food

  

Author Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WendyClarkeAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendyClarke99

Book reviews, Thriller

Chameleon by Michael K Foster – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It was meant to be a harmless adventure…or so he thought.  

When a ten-year-old boy playing hooky from school sees a young woman’s body hanging from a tree, a man at the scene gives chase. 

Still recovering from near fatal injuries, Jack Mason is sent to investigate. He knows the boy’s life is in danger, but that’s the least of his worries. There’s a much darker side to this investigation, and one that threatens to change many people’s lives. 

What really happened in the woods that day? What dark secrets was the dead woman hiding? 

And who, or what, is Chameleon?
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MY REVIEW 

This is #4 in the DCI Jack Mason series by Michael K Foster, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

Jack is committed to his job, he doesn’t shirk the tough parts and gets his hands dirty along with the rest of his team and so is well respected.

In this tale. A young boy of 10, sees a woman hanging and it’s not a suicide…he was seen and he is now in danger… so Jack Mason and his team are to protect the witness.

This is one of the Chameleon’s murders….can they keep their witness safe?

This has everything, the Russian Mafia, a hitman, poisons, murder and even money laundering. It really is non stop action with some great characters in a gripping, nail biting thriller.

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side 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.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2M3f7s

Don’t miss out on the rest of the series:

 

The Wharf Butcher (Book 1)

Satan’s Beckoning (Book 2)

The Suitcase Man (Book 3)

Chameleon (Book 4)

Author Bio:

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Michael K Foster has been writing crime thriller novels since 2006, all of them based in and around the North East of England. His bestselling debut novel, ‘The Wharf Butcher,’ was released in 2015 and offers a unique insight into this rugged landscape. He has now written four full-length novels featuring the hard-hitting DCI Jack Mason and local criminal profiler David Carlisle. His latest book in the series, ‘Chameleon,’ is scheduled for release in June 2019. 

Michael was born in Plymouth, England. After ten years’ service in the British Army, he moved to Newcastle where he gained a master’s degree. A former Magistrate, he now writes full time and lives with his family in County Durham.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010775401631

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Website: http://www.michaelkfoster.com

Book reviews, Family drama, Womens fiction

One Year Later by Sanjida Kay – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Some secrets won’t stay buried…

Since Amy’s daughter, Ruby-May, died in a terrible accident, her family have been beset by grief. One year later, the family decide to go on holiday to mend their wounds. An idyllic island in Italy seems the perfect place for them to heal and repair their relationships with one another. 

But no sooner have they arrived than they discover nothing on this remote island is quite as it seems. And with the anniversary of the little girl’s death looming, it becomes clear that at least one person in the family is hiding a shocking secret. As things start to go rapidly wrong, Amy begins to question whether everyone will make it home…
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MY REVIEW 

One Year later is a tale of family, tragedy and secrets…..Amy and Matt’s young daughter, Ruby-May had died in a tragic accident….but who was meant to be watching her ?

On the anniversary of her death, Amy wants to get away…..not to Somerset, but a holiday without constant reminders of her daughter…It’s decided on Italy, for the whole family, except one member…….he would not be welcome.

So, they arrive and find they are in an idyllic area, in a lovely cottage near a pool and the sea…..but then Nick, Amy’s brother arrives with their father in tow…..the tension is palpable at this point…..he is blamed for Ruby-May’s death, as he was meant to be watching her…..wasn’t he? He doesn’t remember being asked to look after her….is he in the early stages of dementia? Bethany, Amy’s sister believes this to be the case…who is telling the truth?

I loved Sanjida Kay’s descriptive writing, from Somerset to Italy, you could feel the heat of summer and smell the thyme, which all build the atmosphere beautifully. The characters are all so well developed you will share their emotions and more than a tear or two at times. Utterly gripping, this us A tale of family, loyalty, love and heartbreak…an emotion packed psychological thriller and family drama with the odd twist too. Brilliant.

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  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2YwWc0j

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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SANJIDA KAY is a writer and broadcaster. She lives in Somerset with her daughter and husband. She has written three previous psychological thrillers, Bone by Bone, The Stolen Child and My Mother’s Secret to critical acclaim.

 

 

 

Praise for My Mother’s Secret

 

‘So compelling you have no choice but to race through it… Twisty, tense and chilling. Brilliant!’ Sam Carrington

 

‘Chilling and compelling, filled with exquisitely drawn characters and gut-wrenching twists that force you to ask the most terrifying question of all: how would I cope if this happened to me?’ Cavan Scott

 

‘With her vibrant prose and razor-sharp observation, Sanjida’s story hooked me right from the start, pulling me in with an increasing sense of unease until the final spine-chilling climax.’ Caroline England

 

‘A gripping page-turner – the twists kept coming!’ Catherine Ryan Howard

 

‘A gripping yarn with a vicious sting in the tale that shows the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’ L V Hay

 

‘Sanjida Kay captivates the senses, then delivers the killer blow.’ Lucy Dawson

 

 

 

Praise for The Stolen Child

 

‘Gripping and totally unpredictable’ Daily Mail

‘An excellent piece of work [that] triumphs both as an edge-of-the-seat whodunnit and a psychologically perceptive study of the impact of grief, loss and alienation.’ Irish Independent

‘Utterly absorbing’ CrimeReview.co.uk

‘A taut thriller that boxes you in with more lies and red herrings than you can shake a stick at.’ The Book Trail

‘The Stolen Child captivated me, terrified me and left me deeply moved.’ Holly Seddon

‘Beautiful terse writing and the build to the shattering climax is palpable.’ Peter James

‘Grips to the very last page… I couldn’t put it down.’ Amanda Jennings

‘Gut-wrenching… The Stolen Child succeeds as both a fast-paced thriller and a haunting tale of a fragile family.’ Peter Swanson

 

 

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

In the lucrative world of Wall Street finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam are the ultimate high-flyers. Ruthlessly ambitious, they make billion-dollar deals and live lives of outrageous luxury. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to get ahead.

When the four of them become trapped in an elevator escape room, things start to go horribly wrong. They have to put aside their fierce office rivalries and work together to solve the clues that will release them. But in the confines of the elevator the dark secrets of their team are laid bare. They are made to answer for profiting from a workplace where deception, intimidation and sexual harassment thrive.

Tempers fray and the escape room’s clues turn more and more ominous, leaving the four of them dangling on the precipice of disaster. If they want to survive, they’ll have to solve one more final puzzle: which one of them is a killer?

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MY REVIEW

This is a psychological thriller with a claustrophobic feel.

Told in chapters that relate to Sara Hill and the four people in The Elevator…

Vincent, Sam, Sylvia and Jules are called to a last minute meeting….as they enter the elevator it ascends to the 70th floor but the doors do not open….the message on the display tells them the goal is to get out alive…at first they find it fun, an Escape Room game, but as they solve the first clues, the name Sara Hill is mentioned….

Sara was an employee of Stanhope and Sons, working in a toxic, sexist and pressured environment ….and a lot of the story is told from her perspective, the work at a prestigious investment company, the money, perks and rivalries……

What links the two women, Sara and Lucy? 

This is a marvellously claustrophobic, atmospheric and twisty thriller, it shows the sheer greed of the money hungry employees, just what should they do for money? would they kill? And will they all escape the elevator? 

None of the characters are particularly likeable, all driven by money and appearances, but this is a totally gripping thriller, with some real gasp inducing moments….I loved it..

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers 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.

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/33fAFrz

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Goldin is the bestselling author of “The Escape Room”, praised by Lee Child as “one of my favorite books of the year”, as well as “The Girl In Kellers Way”, a critically-acclaimed domestic noir thriller nominated for Australia’s leading crime fiction awards.

Megan worked as a journalist for Reuters, the Australian ABC and Yahoo! News before writing her debut psychological thriller The Girl In Kellers Way. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

 

Praise for The Escape Room:

 

“High wire tension from the first moment to the last. Four ruthless people locked in a deadly game where victory means survival. Gripping and unforgettable!” Harlan Coben

 

“Fantastic. One of my favourite books of the year.” Lee Child

 

“Amazing…a thriller set in an elevator [that explores] the vast territory of people’s worst natures. A nightmarish look inside ourselves. Simply riveting.” Louise Penny

 

“A sharp, slick, utterly engrossing thriller. This knockout debut hooked me from the first page and didn’t let go.” Cristina Alger, USA Today bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Torment by Mark Tilbury – Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Who can you really trust?

Beth couldn’t be happier. She is eight weeks pregnant and married to the man of her dreams. But after returning home from a celebratory meal, she finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above the bed and a kitchen knife embedded in her pillow. There are no signs of a forced entry. Nothing is stolen. And no one other than the cleaner has a key to the house.

Then a campaign of terror begins. Beth becomes increasingly paranoid as it becomes clear that someone close to the family is behind these disturbing events.    

But who would want Beth dead?

Does the past hold the clue?

And can Beth find the answer before it’s too late?

Torment is a story of misplaced loyalty, revenge and sacrifice.
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MY REVIEW 

Beth and David return home to find someone has been inside and hung a wreath from Beth sisters grave over their bed….

Beth’s friend Kim, offers support and is trying to get away from her abusive boyfriend, Jonno. So Beth invites her to move in temporarily, partly for selfish reasons, so she can have company when David is at work……and won’t be alone at home.

Then Mr Tibbs disappears, photos received in the mail and David stays out all night….Kim is quick to point the blame on everyone around, maybe David is having an affair, maybe his brother is jealous of their life…..he has a key to the house after all…..

What follows is a mix of heartbreaking trauma for Beth, (poor David’s feelings are put to one side….he’s a man how could he understand) and nail biting thriller.

The tension builds as the ‘stalker’ gets closer with text messages, and more horrific items in the mail….who hates Beth so much ? Beth comes to rely on her friend, she’s her only support….then David is abducted….

A fast, paced, emotion packed and unsettling revenge thriller, believable and nerve wracking….Mars bars have a lot to answer for !!!!

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.  This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2T8Wpkn

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

CEDF43D3-9ED2-4912-ADEA-5F2CB96D2D58

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised. 

After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused. 

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had seven novels published by Bloodhound Books, including his most recent release, Torment. 

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Control by Hugh Montgomery – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Not all doctors are heroes . . . 

Renowned surgeon Michael Trenchard locks his office door and prepares for a relaxing evening – Wagner on the sound system, a fine Scotch to hand. A knock at the door heralds the arrival of the person he most wants to see – the person who excites him more than anyone else. But what follows will turn his dreams into a living nightmare . . . for he will be discovered later that night in a locked-in coma, the victim of an auto-erotic asphyxiation. 

Can this really be an accident? It is left to Dr Kash Devan, Trenchard’s young protégé, to uncover the truth. What he discovers is chilling: in his ruthless pursuit of wealth and success Trenchard has left a trail of wrecked lives behind him. Which of his victims hated him so much they wanted not only his life, but also his reputation ruined?

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MY REVIEW 

Kash Devan is a junior doctor on his first day at Victory Hospital, a Central London Teaching Hospital. Here he meets Mr Trenchard, an eminent surgeon and his boss.

Tenchard is arrogant, supremely confident and exudes calm, but is he all he seems?

He tells Kash the most common form of death is unhappiness, so go and have fun….

He does, meets Claire, a nurse, and the story begins…..with emergency’s, drama and death…all part of everyday Hospital life, but then Trenchard is found in his office, barely breathing, in women’s under and a noose around his neck…..autoerotic asphyxiation or something more sinister? He’s still alive, barely and now in a locked in state….Who would hate this man so much ?

Kash keeps an eye on him, as he has sympathy for the man, but finds a piece of epuipment under his body….how did it get there and was it put there deliberately to cause more suffering? While Trenchard is clearly an unpleasant man, you do feel sorry for him. 

This is an immensely engrossing read, yes there’s a lot of medical jargon, but it’s all explained in layman’s terms, the characters are all so well developed thanks to Hugh Montgomery’s writing, it has a sense of reality and no small amount of tension. The ending is marvellously shocking and yet understandable…..if you like medical dramas like House or Grey’s Anatomy you are going to love this…

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers 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.

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2Zuw5U1

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Hugh Montgomery is a professor and the director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London. A distinguished physician, he is known for his pioneering genetic research. Outside the field of medicine, he was a founding member of the UK Climate and Health Council and is an endurance expert, who has run three ultra-marathons, scaled the world’s sixth highest mountain, jumped naked from a plane at 14,000ft and holds the world record for underwater piano playing. ( Courtesy of GoodReads)

Book reviews, Non fiction

The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook, Vol 1 by Morgen Bailey – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Over a thousand sentence starts, three per day, with writing tips at the end of each week to motivate and inspire, providing kick-starts to avoid the dreaded ‘writer’s block’. Useful for any writer at any level, whether they have 10 minutes or 10 hours, to start a new project. Also an ideal tool for writing groups.

With a combination of six first-person, six second-person, six third-person and three non-specific point of view starts per week, there are plenty to choose from. Beginning at ‘Day 1’ this book has been designed to be started at any time of the year, and regardless of whether the sentences are used in order or not. With a choice of three per day a writer can select one, two or all and see where it leads them.  

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MY REVIEW 

Another brilliant workbook from Morgen Bailey to kickstart the creative writing process.just a sentence or two to fire the imagination.

Each week is set out with three sentence starters from the following points of view: 

Day 1: ‘first person

Day 2: ‘second person’   

Day 3: ‘third person’

Day 4: more ‘first person’ 

Day 5: more ‘second person’ 

Day 6: more ‘third person’ 

Day 7: ‘any viewpoint’

 

And a tip of the week..

 

There are also various points of view, 1st person etc and tenses, Past/Present…..which really gives an incredible variety to the prompts. No dates, so you could start anywhere or even dip in and out. All the prompts feel unique and from various genre and emotions.

This would be a great aid to creative writing, to really ignite the imagination…brilliant.

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side 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.

 

Author Bio:

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Morgen Bailey – Morgen with an E – is a multi-genre author, freelance editor, writing tutor, writing competitions magazine columnist and judge, blogger, and speaker. 

Her website is http://www.morgenbailey.wordpress.com, email is morgen@morgenbailey.com, she is morgenwriteruk on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Her books can be found:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Morgen-Bailey/e/B007SNIBF8

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Morgen-Bailey/e/B007SNIBF8 

Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/morgenbailey) and wherever books can be ordered.

 

Links used above if needed:

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editor = http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/editing-and-critique

tutor = http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/courses

blogger = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com

speaker = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/writer-for-hire/speaking-at-your-event

Twitter = http://twitter.com/morgenwriteruk

Facebook = http://facebook.com/morgenwriteruk

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