Monday, 22 January 2018

The Bucktown Babies by Janine R Pestel Blog Tour

Today I am kicking off the blog tour for The Bucktown Babies, a supernatural book with demons, skulduggery and danger at almost every corner! Thanks Janine for stopping by and taking time out to answer some questions.

Q: First thing I have to ask, what inspired the book?

A: The idea for the book “The Bucktown Babies” pretty much just “popped” into my head one day. I was driving, and this idea about a gun toting nun who fought zombies and demons came to me. I thought it over, and it eventually morphed into a former priest who fought demons. I did some research, and found the demon that was responsible for infant mortality and miscarriages, and “The Bucktown Babies” was born.

Q: Will there be more to the series?

A: Oh, yes. Lots more. The second book in the series “The Raven Flies at Night” has just been published by my publisher – Creativia Publishing. In that book, which is a little darker than “The Bucktown Babies,” something is revealed that will take the series in a new, darker, direction.

Q: I was left with a lot of questions, was this deliberate as there will be more books?

A: Yes. It is a continuing series, and in each book, there will be answers…and, of course, more questions.

Q: Will all questions be answered in future books?

A: All questions will be answered…eventually. Some questions were even answered in the first book, although the answers were subtle – the lack of religion in the town, etc.

Q: Demons are the main entity in the book however another unnatural appeared, will this theme continue in other books?

A: Yes. Sometimes demons use “other entities” to help them fight. These entities could sometimes be things like Banshees, or sometimes the undead. I tend to like it when unexpected things happen, because in real live, the unexpected happens.

Q: What research did you do for the book and did you enjoy it? Anything freaky or unusual to share?

A: I researched demons. I wanted to find out what demons were responsible for what evils. This way, there is a little bit of accuracy in the books in the series. Take, for instance, the demon in “The Bucktown Babies.” If you google that demon, or look it up in demonology, you will find that it is the demon that is responsible for infant mortality and miscarriages.

Q: This is the first book I have read by you, do you have others and if so are they of the same genre?

A: I have earlier books that I have written. The first book I wrote was a science fiction novella titled “The Mons Connection.” The inspiration for that book came from Ancient Alien theory. I also have four short stories, three of them horror – “The Servants,” “Harry,” “The Visit” and one of them I wrote to help people heal after losing a pet – “Wait at the Rainbow Bridge.” “The Visit,” is actually not horror…more of a touching story. The last ting I have would be a small compilation of horror stories – “Infected and Other Short Stories.” This compilation has the short story “Infected”, along with “Harry,” “The Servants,” and “The Visit.” There are also audiobooks of several of my books.

Q: What is next for Janine?

A: To continue the “Father Gunter, Demon Hunter” series, along with some new ideas that I have for a new series and a few stand-alone horror stories. I’m hoping for at least 3 new books to be published in 2018.

Q: Where can fans find you?

A: They can like me on facebook at they can also follow me on twitter at or my website at One final note: I am always looking for people to join my “street team”. For details, visit my website.

Q: Anything else you may want to ask that I might have missed?

A: Not that I can think of. Thank you so much for interviewing me. It has been my pleasure.

Thank you so much Janine for a great Q&A, I look forward to the next in the series. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour as shown in the poster below. Many thanks to Anne Cater for arranging a great blog tour, asking me on it and introducing me to a new spooky series.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Reflection by Diane Chamberlain

ReflectionReflection by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - Over 4 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - The Works

Blurb from Goodreads

The author of Brass Ring and Fire and Rain delivers an edge-of-your-seat story filled with secrets, surprises, and psychological suspense. Returning to the small Pennsylvania Dutch town of Reflection, Rachel Huber must confront the tragedy that caused her to leave twenty years before."One of the premier writers of contemporary fiction." -- "Romantic Times" Diane Chamberlain's background as a psychotherapist and clinical social worker is evident in her psychologically complex characters.Will appeal to fans of the novels of Anne Rivers Siddons, Barbara Delinsky, and Rosamunde Pilcher.

My Review

Rachel Huber is back in Reflection, the small town she left decades ago under a cloud of hate, shame and distrust. When her gran Helen has an accident Rachel goes back without a second thought, so many years have passed, she needs to reconnect with her gran and face her past. As Helen's health recovers and they get to know each other, Rachel finds the town still shuns and blames her for what happened. Rachel confronts her past,finds that she isn't the only one with secrets, the past never stays in the past and old feelings have never really gone away.

I do enjoy a small town drama, we know something bad happened but it is hinted at and teased out. The focus centres on Helen and Rachel, the family estranged and now brought together when both need it most. Rachel's oldest friend Michael is now a religious man and the heart of the village, his followers are torn between their loyalty and his friendship with Rachel, her past and their seeming closeness.

Weaved with so many issues, family secrets, PTSD, religion, infidelity, love, lies, death and small town grudges it engages the reader quickly. As we flip from present day and dip into the past, the story gives us insight into the characters and what shapes them into who they are, what they have endured and what is still to come. 3.5 out of 5 for me this time, I do enjoy Chamerlain, I have read her before and I will read her again.

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Friday, 19 January 2018

When All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

When All the Girls Have GoneWhen All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 2 days

Pages - 448

Publisher - Paitkus

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Five women out for justice
One ruthless killer
A secret that's sure to get out

In this elite investment club, the stakes are literally life or death . . .

Founder of an exclusive society with a hidden agenda, Madison Benson has carefully handpicked her members, choosing the four most fearless and skilled/intelligent women she knows. But when one member is found dead and another goes missing, it seems like the club may finally have taken one risk too many. Now it won't be long before the rest of them are hunted down and silenced...

Into this secretive world steps Charlotte Sawyer, who is desperate to find her step-sister, the beautiful, brilliant - and reckless - Jocelyn, and deliver the terrible news that one of her closest friends has been murdered. Yet Jocelyn is nowhere to be found and slowly Charlotte begins to realise that her step-sister is involved in something terrible. Running out of time and unable to trust the police, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI whose previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn's past are threatening to consume her - and anyone else who gets in the way . . .

My Review

Jocelyn is the founder of a secret group, after her own past horror she and four other females they met out justice as they see fit. When Jocelyn takes off for a break and her close friend is found dead her sister Charlotte releases Jocelyn isn't where she is meant to be and there are a lot of questions about her friends death. Max Cutler is a private investigator hired to look into the death, soon him and Charlotte are working together to unravel the mystery of the death and her sisters disappearance. They more they dig they soon realise something isn't right and before they know it they are in grave danger and a killer is on the loose.

This is my first dance with this author, a story that starts with an apparent drug overdose, an unbelieving relative and a private detective kicking everything off. Max and Charlotte find themselves drawn to each other, a mystery to solve, danger afoot and both aware of their feelings but cautious due to their past.

There is a decent amount of action within the book, a clever murderer, a rapist, family secrets, friendship, loyalty, deceit and a race against the clock to try and solve the mystery and stay alive. Charlotte is a character that irritated me a little initially, she is lovely and loyal but you just want her to react to a particular situation. However, as the book progresses we see Charlotte start to bloom, in a very unusual set of circumstances her character grows and adapts, I really warmed to her.

A crime thriller with so many themes running through to keep you turning page after page. I did enjoy this overall and whilst this was my first dance with this author it won't be my last. 3.5 stars for me this time, thanks to Bookbridgr for introducing me to a new author.

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Monday, 15 January 2018

January blues

It is something a lot of people do actually get. It is a five week month, lots of people are feeling the effects from Christmas, money is generally tight. For some of us it has also included a personal loss, re addressing some issues or some folk just struggle with a new year, for some it is a time for new beginnings. I think we can all agree, any kind of January blues suck!

Something that always cheers me up is RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness), so as well as doing a wee giveaway in a fairies club and a book club, I thought I would list another competition on here. Remember there is already a giveaway for Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater along with a Q&A which is opened until the end of the month, click here.

So I will put this open to all, up for grabs is a wee totebag, I picked up loads of this kind of stuff on my last Las Vegas visit, specifically for comps. A booklight, as pictured and a magnetic bookmark with Paris on it, all brand new and as pictured.

Entry is via Rafflecopter as always, the more entries you complete the more times your name is entered into the draw. The competition will run until the end of the month.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

The Sewing MachineThe Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 320

Publisher - Unbound

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

It is 1911, and Jean is about to join the mass strike at the Singer factory. For her, nothing will be the same again.

Decades later, in Edinburgh, Connie sews coded moments of her life into a notebook, as her mother did before her.

More than 100 years after his grandmother’s sewing machine was made, Fred discovers a treasure trove of documents. His family history is laid out before him in a patchwork of unfamiliar handwriting and colourful seams.

He starts to unpick the secrets of four generations, one stitch at a time.

My Review

Firstly, I just want to comment on the cover, mine was an eBook however the cover for the paperback is exactly as the wee attached picture. It has so much detail without being over the top, flashy or in your face but when you pick it up and actually look at it, especially after reading the story, it is really something. The story itself concentrates on three main characters, Jean starting in 1911, Connie in 1954 and up to date is Fred in 2016. Three characters in different times, relatively different circumstances, different individuals all with one thing in common, sewing machines. It doesn't sound like a massive pull or overly interesting but guys, trust me, this is a great wee book.

Jean is torn between doing what is right, supporting her fellow workers in a time when every penny really does count and going against her father to take part in a strike that impacts on her future. Connie is a genteel soul, living with her mother and settled in what little life has given her, a dab hand with her sewing machine she has no idea her skills will bring forth change to her life. And lastly Fred, his life is upside down, a bereavement brings much changes and he commences on a journey of self examination and growth with unexpected surprises along the way.

Oh you would think anything about a sewing machine, especially with three individuals having them in their stories to be dull, a chore to get into. You would be absolutely wrong, this book is a gem that has many layers revealing its history and with each chapter drawing the reader into the world of families, relationships, hardships and issues that are evident for each despite the time differences.

For me I think the book grabbed me more because bereavements are in it and we just lost a family member last week. The act of going through his family history in memories from the flat, Fred is discovering as much about himself as he is his grandparents. Clearing out a home conjures up so many memories and questions not to mention emotions, the author encapsulates this perfectly. Sentences written that are absolutely time appropriate, words used both things that evoked personal memories for me and I imagine other readers. "...she heard their firmly-sprung letter box snapped closed." I remember the brass letterboxes we all had in the eighties that did exactly that, along with ripping the top layer of skin off before it banged shut.

I don't feel I am doing this book justice but it is hard to give examples without giving anything away, the book is beautifully written and you would never guess this is a debut novel. The authors voice is strong and she has a gift for bringing you into a time where even if you weren't born then you can easily envision the time, smells, sounds, feelings and issues. Three timelines go along with the main characters and are clearly marked, signposted and easy to follow. I genuinely hope this author is working on her next novel, maybe more from these characters or in the same period. I do love books that give unexpected gifts and trips down memory lane are something you are always grateful for. 4/5 for me this time, thanks to Netgalley for bringing a book to my attention I may have otherwise have missed. I will be buying a copy of this for a few friends who I think will enjoy it as much, if not more, than I have, an author worth watching I think!

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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Rosie by Lesley Pearse

RosieRosie by Lesley Pearse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - over 4 days

Pages - 628

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Bought online (I think)

Blurb from Goodreads

Can good come from evil?

Will Rosie ever escape from her brutal brothers?

As a child Rosie Parker spent the war years battling her brutish half-brothers Seth and Norman on the farm under the less-than-watchful eye of her father Cole. But when housekeeper Heather Farley arrives, Rosie finds a mother - and a friend - to look after her.

Several years later, Thomas Farley comes to find his sister. Rosie can only tell him that she disappeared in mysterious circumstances, abandoning her small son Alan. Determined to get young Alan and Rosie out of the clutches of Cole and his sons, Thomas helps unearth a terrible truth about the family. A truth that forces Rosie away from the farm and out into a cruel world where she must somehow come to terms with her shocking past. Is it possible that the man who brought ruin on her family might also bring happiness to Rosie?

My Review

Rosie sets off a chain off events when she intervenes and rescues her little brother, Alan, from her father and brothers. Thomas Farley has come looking for his sister, who mysteriously went missing leaving behind her son Alan, and finds out about his nephew. Rosie has no idea how one action can impact on so many lives, she is about to find out.

Very family centred the story focuses on many aspects of relationships that revolve around the different individuals. Rosie and her brothers and father, Thomas and his sister, the relationships she makes when she leaves her family home and those that follow.

Rosie is focused on helping others and gets experience in a mental health hospital environment where she is met with hostility and many obstacles for one so young. The story has some very dark lines, sexual abuse, physical abuse, murder, sexual deviancy, relationships are a huge focus, friendship and loyalty. It pulls the reader in pretty much from the first chapter and whilst some of the scenes are very disturbing the bonds some of the people make and strength of character shown by some is inspiring.

A very mixed bag, some scenes so realistic it really is hard to get through due to the brutality of it but it is testament to the authors writing skills she can create such realism. I have read this author before and I absolutely will read her again, she is one of those authors you buy up her back catalogue based on the strength of what you have just read, 4/5 for me.

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Friday, 12 January 2018

Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson

Alex Cross, Run (Alex Cross, #20)Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 512

Publisher - Arrow

Source - Book shop

Blurb from Goodreads

There are three killers loose and Alex Cross is on the case for them all, with a family crisis at home things are looking bad for Alex, more so when he becomes the target of a hate campaign. Alex may be a fabulous man of the law but he is human and when pushed so far even Alex will react.

This is a busy wee book, we see Alex facing clever criminals as we have come to expect over the series and some family issues. The newest looks to threaten his family circle, the media are watching, the public are following the smear campaign and the killers are getting blood thirsty.

We know who the killers are, the pair working together are sadists, sexual aspects to the crime and getting more risky. To be honest there were, for me, quite a few questions about these guys and I think with there being so many aspects and different angles to the story something would be left overlooked. It is a busy tale and as always keeps the readers interest, I do hate being left questioning things though I am sure many will be happy with how things are tied up.

I have read Patterson before and will read him again, I enjoy the short chapters which allow for dipping in and out of as time allows. If you enjoy Patterson's previous Cross books I am sure you will enjoy this one, I have loved his previous offerings and feel for me, this one wasn't quite as strong as the others, 3/5 for me this time.

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