Monday, 15 October 2018

A Christmas gift by Sue Moorcroft Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft. I know I know you are thinking it is October for goodness sake BUT if like me you like to plan ahead for some of your seasonal reads then this is perfect. I have an extract so if you have a wee read at that and like it, there you have your first Christmas book sorted, organised or what!.





Queen of the lightning-fast shower, she switched on the water, wriggled out of her running kit and hung it on the radiator so it wouldn’t be clammy for the run home, and jumped into the spray. Soon she was dressing in the clean clothes she unrolled from her backpack. Two further minutes with hairbrush, tinted moisturiser and mascara wand and she was ready to start her day.

As she emerged into the corridor, students were streaming towards rehearsal rooms or first sessions, crowding her with their backpacks and instrument cases and confining her pace to what she thought of as ‘the student shuffle’.

Chatter and laughter rippled through the air. Georgine smiled. She loved this time of year. Halloween and bonfire night had passed and now the students were looking towards the main event of the term: Christmas. Already posters advertising A Very Kerry Christmas, Uncle Jones were appearing in Middledip, Bettsbrough and even as far afield as Peterborough.

Some of the students called, ‘Hey, Georgine!’ and she returned their greetings, only pausing when a tall, solemn youth with a guitar-shaped gig bag on one shoulder fixed his gaze on her and announced sternly, ‘Got me grade seven acoustic guitar.’

Not fooled by the unsmiling delivery from Tomasz, a student generally held to be ‘challenging’, she raised her hand for a high-five. ‘Fantastic, Tomasz! That’s awesome!’ ‘I’ll get a stiffycut.’ Tomasz’s heritage might be Polish but his accent was pure Bettsbrough. He performed his part in the high-five as if obliged to humour her, but triumph shone in his eyes before he turned away.

Georgine was still grinning at his pronunciation of ‘certificate’ when she reached the office suite, calling ‘Morning!’ to Fern as she passed through the admin office and reached the door marked Norman Ogden at 8.30 a.m. precisely.





"A Christmas Gift" is out to buy now on kindle, click HERE or in hardback from the 1st of November.


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Day by Day Armageddon Ghost Run by J L Bourne

Day by Day Armageddon: Ghost Run (Day by Day Armageddon #4)Day by Day Armageddon: Ghost Run by J.L. Bourne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 256

Publisher - Gallery Books

Source - Amazon buy

Blurb from Goodreads

The acclaimed and eagerly anticipated fourth thriller in the zombie apocalypse series from the author of Day by Day Armageddon and Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile, for fans of the smash hit show The Walking Dead.

In a desperate bid to survive as hordes of bloodthirsty undead now dominate the ravaged U.S. population, a Navy commander discovers an incredible secret about the pandemic in this fourth novel in the acclaimed Day by Day Armageddon series.

Task Force Phoenix may be humanity’s final hope, and the narrator's agonizing decisions could mean living one more day—or surrendering to the eternal hell that exists between life and death.

Ghost Run is a suspenseful, gripping, and intelligent thriller that will terrify die-hard horror fans and reinforce J.L. Bourne’s reputation as “the new king of hardcore zombie action” (Brad Thor, author of Act of War).


My Review

This is book four in the series and I would recommend reading the others before this one as the main character in this book isn't the main in the previous ones. There is also a lot of history to be read and small kickbacks to the previous book events so I think you would be better off reading them. The book does however start off with a wee mini recap of the previous books so you aren't starting off blind.

The main character, Kil, is Navy trained and one of the top guys. He knows combat, weapons, training and it is strong throughout the book. Whilst this will be a huge kick for some readers I didn't love it. A lot of the weapons, use of items, things he came across as Joe Public I had to re read some things, google, check as I didn't know what they were. I think it makes a bit of a change to have a main character who is so knowledgeable and weapon specialist. For me I do like a main character though who would struggle with stuff like this. I loved the wee machine that was like a dog, I just could not accurately envision it but I did love it. Something that is often missing in these books are animals or we get them and bad things happen.

There is a ton of action, death scenes, attacks and of course zombies galore. We have a good bit of travel in the book too and as with the previous books it is told in diary like entries cataloguing his experiences. 3.5/5 for me, I do enjoy this series and I look forward to the next book.





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Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Toy Thief by D W Gillespie Blog Tour




Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Toy Thief by author D W Gillespie, although I am closing the tourplease check out the other stops on the tour as we all have different content, so you don't miss anything. Before I post my review, check out the cover for this one, I don't (or didn't use to) bother with covers but there are a ton of great ones out there. Like this one, how eerie, spooky and freaky is it, it was the cover that drew me to the post about the book to be honest!





The Toy ThiefThe Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 240

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

Jack didn’t know what to call the nameless, skeletal creature that slunk into her house in the dead of night, stealing the very things she loved the most. So she named him The Toy Thief… There’s something in Jack’s past that she doesn’t want to face, an evil presence that forever changed the trajectory of her family. It all began when The Toy Thief appeared, a being drawn by goodness and innocence, eager to feed on everything Jack holds dear. What began as a mystery spirals out of control when her brother, Andy, is taken away in the night, and Jack must venture into the dark place where the toys go to get him back. But even if she finds him, will he ever be the same?


My Review

What happens when you see something you aren't supposed to? We open with Jack (Jacqueline), reflecting on her, her brother Andy, family and the past. Written in first person narration, we see Jack in present day and lots of throwback to childhood memories and why she is the way she is today. We know something happened when she was younger and it takes a wee bit of unravelling before we hear about and "meet" The Toy Thief.

Jack isn't a very nice person as an adult and if bad language offends you this is your headsup, Jack swears a fair bit. As she goes back in time and recalls what happened, the first glimpse, the actual encounter and the fall out afterwards you get a bit more appreciation for how she has been shaped to the person she is today.

For me the story is two fold, the spooky horror aspect and the family dynamics, both are strong and bring shape to the story. The Toy Thief is creepy and a few of the scenes made the hair at the back of my neck stand up. We all have things that freaked us out as kids and flashes of the story made me think about irrational childhood fears, memories and that is always a thumbs up for any author.

The family bond shone through, Jack and her brother Andy have a strained relationship, no mother and only their family raising the two of them. From the get go we know things aren't perfect between the siblings but they have a bond and are close, when we see their childhood and everything that follows it makes the reader have a better understanding of the relationship.

I have read a few books from published by Flame Tree Press, it is almost like a new brand of horror. You have the creepy, the darkness, family/relationship elements and with horror but not always in your face or over the top. This is my first dance with this author, it won't be my last, the book doesn't give up its secrets quickly, like an onion you have to go through each layer, getting more as you go, 3.5 out of 5 for me this time.




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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Friendship Never Ends by Ella Dyson Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Friendship Never Ends by Ella Dyson, please check out the previous stops and the closing stop tomorrow, we all offer different content and it is a great wee book!







Friendship Never EndsFriendship Never Ends by Ella Dyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 252

Publisher - Trapeze

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

A big-hearted comedy about friendship, the 90s and the greatest girl band in the world

Three independent women - and one man who lives for drama - haven't spoken to their best friend in 20 years, after an epic talent show disaster tore them apart during the height of Spice-mania.

Self-appointed gang leader Carmen then decided to go it alone - Geri style. But now, in 2018, the school reunion is fast approaching. Friendship Never Ends tells the story of Carmen's plan to win back her former besties - Jemma, Ellie, Laura and Benny - ahead of the big night. But has Carmen really changed? And can their friendship ever really go back to how it was?


My Review

Split between past and present, we open in present day and meet Carmen who bumps into an old flame who happens to be a high profile football player now. Carmen knows she has to win him back and the school reunion is the place to do it, she just needs to get the old gang back together. Her high school friends she hasn't seen since the talent contest at school twenty two years ago, when their friendship was ripped apart. Ellie, Laura, Jemma, Benny and Carmen made up their wee group, all spice girls fanatics and the inspiration for their talent show performance.

A story about the struggles of adult hood before we go back to their high school days, their friendship dynamics, coming of age and eventually what happened that day to break up their friendship. We come full circle and back to present day and Carmen trying to get everyone back together and her plan to woo Darryl Kenny.

Carmen is not a nice character, she is shallow as an adult and a spoilt self centred brat as a kid. Each of the group have their own issues and demons to face, a lot of the story centres on their teenage time leading to the big "event". For some this might be a bit too teen angst but for me, I loved it, it was a trip down memory lane. The friendship dynamics, the learning dances/songs, picking who was who in the spice girls line up, the music, the things they chatted about. I loved that and the memories it evoked fantastic. We are actually planning a mini holiday/reunion with some of my oldest friends so this book was just bang on perfect timing.

Some cringe moments, funny, horrifying, sexuality, self discovery, stereotypes among other issues and I would be shocked at anyone reading this and not being transported back to some part of their teenage years or school days. Light hearted, funny, sad, mortifying a wee bit of a journey for the kids and adults. A book that doesn't take itself too seriously and one you can chuckled away at. Leave your adult responsibilities behind for a few hours, grab some popcorn and settle down to stroll down memory lane espesh if you were a teen when they Spice Girls crashed into the world of pop! This is my first time reading this author I cannot wait to see what else she brings out, 4/5 for me this time.



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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Gross Anatomy by Mara Altman

Gross AnatomyGross Anatomy by Mara Altman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 day

Pages - 320

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

An honest, funny, neurotic, and totally gross love child of Mindy Kaling and Mary Roach.

Mara Altman's volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn't have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn't it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it's like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies.

Divided into two sections, "The Top Half" and "The Bottom Half," with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman's book takes the reader on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe--as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits.

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.



My Review

Well this was certainly different that is for sure. Altman takes us on a journey down the female body, our hang ups, embarrassing problems, why we are ashamed or embarrassed of some things in our body. Using humour, research and speaking to professionals in their fields about things that happen or puzzle us or even affect us so much we resort to surgery to change the appearance of a particular body part we have an eye opening journey.

Altman is brutally honest about things that she questions on her own body, some thoughts/accounts will make you blush or squirm. One section about headlice had me clawing as I was reading. She doesn't just tackle her own hangups, she examines why so many females have issues with so many things, from excess hair, to removing hair from areas, odours, sweating, discharge yup if that word makes you uncomfortable this book will NOT be for you. She refers to the female anatomy with the P word and even the C word sneaks out a few times in conversations in the book. I could feel myself going red reading some paragraphs and the book wasn't about me and I don't embarrass easily.

I think she has been really brave tackling some of the issues in the book, why do we feel the need to go to extremes to deal with hair, sweating, odours, aesthetics it is really interesting in parts. I love that she spoke to specialists, examined research that had been conducted and added very honest confessions about her own "issues" hangups and experiences.

It is very uncomfortable reading at points but a lot of it is very valid and I am sure many females will be nodding when reading parts of the book. It is not the easiest book to read purely because it is so honest and the things she discusses are things many people, even some of the experts wouldn't engage her in chatting about. She challenges some ideas, pushes some boundaries and I think many will find it empowering to be so honest about so many things we shy away from. 3/5 for me this time, although this was my first dance with this author I would look out for more of her offerings. If you like a book that pushes you a wee bit, this would be perfect for you to pick up. Honest, funny, cringe, mortifying, embarrassing, well researched and I think you would struggle to find a more personal book that tackles issues that I would be surprised if any female didn't relate to something in the book.

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Monday, 8 October 2018

October giveaway is now live




Sorry it is a bit later guys but it is live now. When I was at the Edinburgh book festival I bought an extra paper to get the I Love Edinburgh totebag purely for the giveaway. I have also added in a few wee postcards as pictured and a pre loved book of "Corduroy Mansions" by Alexander McCall Smith whi I got to listen to at the festival and loved, he is so funny.





As always please use the Rafflecopter to enter, opened Worldwide. Any shares is always welcome, thanks so all the blog support and good luck xxx


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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Stealth by Hugh Fraser Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the final day of the blog tour for Stealth by Hugh Fraser.




This is my first ever tour for Love Books Group, I am sharing my day with two other bloggers, please check out their stops too.





Blurb

When a step out of line means a fight to the death...
London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.
When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfil a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.

Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive but to protect the ones she loves.
Buy Link - https://amzn.to/2Qxzn53

Twitter

@Urbanebooks

@realhughfraser

@lovebooksgroup




About Hugh:

Hugh Fraser is best known for playing Captain Hastings in Agatha Christie's 'Poirot' and the Duke of Wellington in 'Sharpe'. His films include Patriot Games, 101 Dalmatians, The Draughtsman's Contract and Clint Eastwood's Firefox. In the theatre he has appeared in Teeth'n'Smiles at the Royal Court and Wyndhams and in several roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also composed the theme to Rainbow! #Lovebooksgrouptours

StealthStealth by Hugh Fraser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 360

Publisher - Urbane Publications

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

When a step out of line means a fight to the death... London 1967 A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove. When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfill a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent. Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive, but to protect the ones she loves.



My Review

1967, meet Rina Walker, pretty much a killer for hire. She is tough, takes no nonsense, fights for what is hers and has a penchant for protecting those weaker than her. When someone is murdered in her girlfriends club Rina goes after the killer and attracts the attention of more than one organisation. Her hand is forced to do a job that tangles her with the British Military Intelligence whilst avoiding a few faces who are also targeting her. Life is anything but simple for Rina, add into all of that when she sees someone being prayed upon she can't help but put herself on the line and intervene!

So this is book four in a series I believe but my first time reading this author. I don't feel I missed anything out by not reading the previous books however I did like this one so much I will be visiting the books that come before it. Rina is such a great character, she is a brutally strong female, an assassin which is practically unheard of in the time period it is set. She is a lesbian which would also be a huge issue for that era yet nothing phases her or stops her being who she is. She is solid, ruthless, brutal, a killer and yet we see a softer side of her with those weaker, with her family, with her lover. She is a really well rounded character and I cannot wait to read more of her antics and catch up on her back story.

There are a few themes within this book that some may find difficult to read. Sexual abuse, deviancy, child abuse, rape, violence and torture which I know some readers really struggle with. For me there was an incident that I had to read twice and couldn't wrap my head around the characters reaction or lack of, for real life regardless of who you are that isn't a reaction that rang true for me and we didn't revisit it at all. I am sure many readers would get past it or maybe not even clock on but it is just something I had to mention as it was really one of the only things in the book I didn't get or love.

Talking of love, the music within this book absolutely needs highlighted. It is the 1960's and lots of our gangster's business and meetings takes place in clubs. Music playing in the background in many scenes whilst not the focus of the particular part in the story was actually a huge pull for me. I LOVED THIS and it was such an unexpected perk within the book, you read crime and brutality you don't think you are going to get something like music as maybe more than a passing reference. If a book was ever written to come with a soundtrack it should absolutely be this one, I was taken on such a great trip down memory lane. Some songs I hadn't heard of before so my Alexa fair worked for her money the two days I was reading this book. I would love the publishers to create a playlist for this book, some amazing tunes that just make the scenes a wee bit more vivid and real when playing out the story in your head.

A book that packs a punch, has skulduggery, lots of violence and rage, good and bad, love, relationships, right and wrong, amazing music and that is just some of the themes. My first dance with this author it will not be my last, 3.5/5 for me this time. Thanks so much to Lovebooksgrouptours for introducing me to a new author I may well have missed



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