Sunday, 8 December 2019

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox

Gone by MidnightGone by Midnight by Candice Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 372

Publisher - Century

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.
__________________

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs.

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing.

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body...


My Review

Kids left in a hotel room whilst all the parents are downstairs, eating, drinking and checking in frequently on the kids. Four boys left alone and one of them goes missing, the kids all deny leaving the room, footage in the hotel is limited, what happened to the kid? Private investigator Ted and his partner Amanda are called in by the missing boys mother much to the annoyance of the police. Ted is an ex cop but has a cloud hanging over him from his past, a past that cost him his job, his wife, his reputation and still follows him. Amanda is an actual riot, fearless, quirky, felt to be dangerous by many and blamed for a life being lost on their last case. Tempers are running high and time is running out to find the missing child.

So this is book 2 or 3 in a series but the first I have picked up, I don't feel I missed out on anything as there are mentions to what has passed previously. The investigation kicks off and we see the struggles between Ted/Amanda and the police, as the book goes on we understand why.

To be honest I was much more interested in Ted and Amanda's story, back story, than the investigation. Not that it was boring or anything just these two are really interesting, in how they are with each other, how people react to them and just how different they are to each other but it works. Amanda is just so different, she had a problematic childhood and her experiences have helped shape who she is, she has no filter and is a bit of a bull in a china shop. Ted hangs back, is very cautious purely because of what he has experienced.

I need to get the previous book or books as I can't wait to read more about these two. This story itself is engaging, decent paced and as well as the investigation we get plenty of insight into Ted as a person, his personal life and some of Amanda. Two fantastic characters, 4 stars for me this time and I look forward to reading their back story and seeing what comes next in the series.

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Saturday, 7 December 2019

Rage by Suzanne Lowe Blog Tour




Today is my turn on the blog tour for Rage by Suzanne Lowe. This is a @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours (@DamppebblesBTs) blog tour.




Rage (Seventeen Series #2) by Suzanne Lowe

#RageSeventeen @Suzanne_Lowe_




Book Blurb:

“Revenge. It was all he could think about.

His body ached for it, burned for it like a relentless fire waiting to be quenched. It was all he wanted.”

With the KV17 virus now in its mutated form and the older children infected, Jasper’s Bay faces an uncertain future as they attempt to find a cure.

When old enemies return, causing tension and turmoil throughout the town, Lexi must face her fears and suppress the rage building inside her. Will the virus take hold or can she maintain control? How can you defeat an enemy when it is part of who you are?

The exciting and compelling YA series set in the harsh Australian outback. Available to buy NOW from Amazon


About Suzanne Lowe:




Suzanne was born in Perth Western Australia and as a young adult grew up in the small country town of Tom Price situated in the outback of Western Australia. Her current home is in Perth with her husband, two daughters and cat Abby.

Suzanne has a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Sports Science. Her interests include watching movies, particularly sci- fi, travelling, photography and reading. She also enjoys going to the occasional comic book convention! 

Like the young women in her stories, Suzanne has had the opportunity to experience many exciting adventures in her life so far including being part of the Australian Army Reserves, climbing to Mt Everest base camp, descending into one of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, flying in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings, parachuting from a plane at 12000 feet in York and sitting on the edge of an active volcano on Tanna island in Vanuatu.

Suzanne has won the award for best Sci fi/Horror in an e-book in the New Apple literary awards for her YA novel Seventeen and received a bronze medal from Reader' Favorite International writers’ literary competition for her children’s novel The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket.

Suzanne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Australian Society of Authors.

Her published works include;

Seventeen, book one in the Seventeen Series. A YA dystopian adventure story set in Australia.

Rage, book two in the Seventeen Series.

The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket, a pirate adventure story for middle grade children

You can find Suzanne on Social Media:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@Suzanne_Lowe_

Facebook: www.facebook.com/suzanneloweauthor/

Website: www.Suzanneloweauthor.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/suzannelowe.author/

For my stop I have my review, enjoy.


RageRage by Suzanne Lowe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 229

Publisher -

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Book two in the exciting YA Seventeen Series set in the Australian outback.

“Revenge. It was all he could think about.
His body ached for it, burned for it like a relentless fire waiting to be quenched. It was all he wanted.”

With the KV17 virus now in its mutated form and the older children infected, they face an uncertain future.
As they attempt to find a cure, an old enemy unexpectedly returns, creating tension and turmoil throughout Jasper’s Bay. When hostilities increase, Lexi must face her fears and suppress the rage building inside her.

Will the virus take hold or can she maintain control? How can you defeat an enemy when it is part of who you are?

Australian spelling and slang used. Contains mild violence.


My Review

This is book two in a series, I haven't read book one and don't think it has impacted on me enjoying the story however I will be going back to read book one. Set in the outback in Austrailia, the KV17 virus which I assumed was the focus on book one, it taking off etc, all of the adults are dead from it and it has now mutated. Kids of seventeen and above are being affected by it but instead of being killed they are "changed" overcome by rage and emotions, how can they survive. They only know that which they have seen and experienced, some of their camp were removed when they become infected. As it becomes clear no one is safe some of the older kids have to try and reach out to those removed from their community, to see how they fared and if there is any hope. An old enemy from the previous book is still in their midst, the odds are against them, can the kids find a cure to stay safe, protect the younger ones and just survive?

So an apocalyptic type book, all adults are gone, it is set in modern day so all our kids are device reliant but what do you do when all of that is gone. Back to basics to try and survive, provide for themselves and live to see another day. Lexi is our main character, trying to battle with everything that passed, one of the kids that had to leave she was quite close to and her emotions are running high. Is it stress or because she is of an age she needs to worry about the virus?

There are a lot of themes to the book, survival obviously, friendship, relationships, finite resources and what happens when the need is more than there is to go around. Lexi has a lot of personal issues to contend with, her petulant sister, trying to keep everyone safe & active within their wee town, her own changes and what that could mean not just for her but her wee tribe.

I really want to go back and read book one to get a few gaps/questions filled in for me, I am really looking forward to book three due to how this one is rounded up. Apocalyptic with not too dark themes although there are some parts, at least one seen had me gasp out loud. In these types of situations, especially with no adults around, we can see the worst come out in people, actions and consequences! I am very much looking forward to the next in this series!




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Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Happy Birthday Orenda

Happy 5th Birthday Orenda Books here is to many many more years of epic books!



Orenda: A Canadian First Nations word that means: ‘The mystical power that drives human accomplishment’.




If you haven't heard of Orenda books you NEED to go check out their website, I can honestly say, hand on heart, I haven't read a book by Orenda that I haven't liked and they are all so very different.

Today is their 5th birthday, you know I am crap with remembering dates but Jen over at JenMeds book reviews has done a fantastic post to highlight their special birthday.

I want to do a wee something to celebrate so I will give one lucky winner X1 paperback book of their choice from Orenda's titles, Karen is a fantastic person and supports her authors and all the bloggers who come across her. It is nice to celebrate and give a wee something back. To enter just use the Rafflecopter below, good luck.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry

The Art of DyingThe Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 416

Publisher - Canongate Books

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson - a whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.

Simpson's protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher are determined to clear their patron's name. But with Raven battling against the dark side of his own nature, and Sarah endeavouring to expand her own medical knowledge beyond what society deems acceptable for a woman, the pair struggle to understand the cause of the deaths.

Will and Sarah must unite and plunge into Edinburgh's deadliest streets to clear Simpson's name. But soon they discover that the true cause of these deaths has evaded suspicion purely because it is so unthinkable.


My Review

Let me start off saying this is book two in a series, I didn't realise and I don't think I have been hampered by not reading book one. There are a few throwbacks and brief recaps of things that happened with book one so you can get away with starting with this one, if starting mid series doesn't make you twitchy.

The time is 1850, the place is Edinburgh and as is nature, people are dying. However some of them are not as should be and one well respected doctor, doctor Simpson, one of the patients was his. With a smear campaign kicking off and whispers of wrongful death of this patient, his understudy Will Raven reluctantly looks into the case and finds more than he bargained for. Will is prompted into action by Sarah, once a house maid to Doctor Simpson, now married to a doctor herself, Sarah has always been interested in medicine. At a time when women should be seen and not heard, married and tied to the sink, Sarah has always been supported and encouraged by doctor Simpson so she has a dual interest in the case.

The book has quite a few layers to it, Will and Sarah have a past, Sarah is now married, Will is very career focused and being involved with a house maid, for him, would negatively impact his career. Yet now he is back, Sarah is in a very different social standing and Will is having to battle his actions and consequences. Investigating who would have it out for doctor Simpson, the mysterious deaths and one of my fave things about this book, medicine back then! Add to all that we get wee snippets from the killer, an insight into their mind and what they are doing, I think when this is done well it really adds to a story. I do like a book is woven with historical facts, considering I never used to bother with historical fiction I do find myself enjoying them more as I get older. I also like books where you learn stuff as you go coupled with the fact is it set somewhere I have visited! Medicine itself is always evolving, practices changing, attitudes and procedures so I do like when you read of things past and then go off to read more in depth around X subject. I liked this one so much I will be buying book one and looking out eagerly for the next in the series, 4.5/5 for me this time. If you like murder mystery, medicine, books in the past, relationships and investigation this one will tick all the boxes for you!



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Sunday, 1 December 2019

Telling Tales about Dementia by Lucy Whitman and Joanna Trollope

Telling Tales About Dementia: Experiences of CaringTelling Tales About Dementia: Experiences of Caring by Lucy Whitman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days as able

Pages - 222

Publisher - Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

How does it feel when someone you love develops dementia? How do you cope with the shock, the stress and the grief? Can you be sure that you and your family will receive the support you need?


In Telling Tales About Dementia, thirty carers from different backgrounds and in different circumstances share their experiences of caring for a parent, partner or friend with dementia. They speak from the heart about love and loss: 'I still find it hard to believe that Alzheimer's has happened to us,' writes one contributor, 'as if we were sent the wrong script.' The stories told here vividly reflect the tragedy of dementia, the gravity of loss, and instances of unsatisfactory diagnosis, treatment and care. But they contain hope and optimism too: clear indications that the quality of people's lives can be enhanced by sensitive support services, by improved understanding of the impact of dementia, by recognising the importance of valuing us all as human beings, and by embracing and sustaining the connections between us.


This unique collection of personal accounts will be an engaging read for anyone affected by dementia in a personal or professional context, including relatives of people with dementia, social workers, medical practitioners and care staff.


My Review

Dementia, Alzheimer's - these are words that everyone recognises. Be it from personal experience, through their work, campaigns on tv or even in books and movies now. We will all be touched by it in some form or another, this book gives a very raw and emotive look into the journey's of their own, their loved ones and how they coped and or what they experienced.

There are also, within some of the stories, the very stark reality of what these conditions do, how it progresses and how differently it affected their loved ones and their own lives. They mention Admiral nurses, an amazing and free resource for families who are supporting someone with Dementia. https://www.dementiauk.org/get-suppor... is the website and has a free telephone number 0800 888 6678.

The book looks at some of the horrific failings these people encountered, the heartbreaking journeys with their loved one(s) and how horrific this condition is, what it takes and how they managed to survive watching their loved ones disappear from them, piece by piece.

I would recommend everyone read this book, if it helps one person be a bit more understanding or gives an additional resource/lifeline for people to reach out to, it has done it's job. It also gives the reader insight into how we can help, be supportive or maybe even learn some coping techniques ourselves, 4/5 for me this time.



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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

The Devil Upstairs by Anthony O'Neill

The Devil UpstairsThe Devil Upstairs by Anthony O'Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 2 days

Pages - 304

Publisher - Black & White Publishing

Source - from the book group for discussion

Blurb from Goodreads

In a quiet corner of Edinburgh, Cat Thomas is going through hell.
She’s tried everything. He respects nothing.

If your neighbour was making your life hell ...
Would you call upon the devil?

Cat Thomas, a brilliant fraud investigator, has just relocated from Florida to a dreamy flat in historic Edinburgh. Everything seems perfect. Everything seems serene. Except for the unbelievably noisy wannabe rockstar upstairs.

Soon Cat’s blissful new life is in ruins. Desperate, she's willing to try anything. When all else fails, she makes an appeal ... to Satan.

And suddenly everything is eerily quiet. But her nightmare has only just begun ...



My Review

Cat Thomas has already had her fingers burned, she is a fraud investigator and her last case saw her safety being threatened by some big wig criminals. Moving to Scotland, Edinburgh is perfect for her, new job, new flat at a bargain price she is ready for good things. However she moves underneath a singer, the flooring between the two is almost non existent and she can hear EVERYTHING. When polite attempts to get him to stop become hostile, Cat is losing sleep, it is impacting her new job, her health and she can take no more. Desperate she goes to an "event" with new work colleague Agnes, where Satan is worshipped because when you are desperate you will try anything and straight laced no nonsense Cat knows it isn't real anyway, it is?

So the book kind of breaks down into a few parts, the sensible lady with the absolute nightmare neighbour and the passive aggressive battle. You feel her anxiety as she becomes more sleep deprived and the war upstairs has really just began. But when it seems to have worked and Cat no longer has to worry about the musician she starts to worry about the cost. Everywhere she turns there seems to be a thread, the good stuff doesn't seem to come without strings and on top of all that she is investigating a potential fraud case that will see her in even bigger trouble than her last one.

Satanism, murder, friendship, sex, lust, devil worship, witches - there is a lot going on in this book. I think I liked it so much because Cat stays so grounded, a realist that even when things start to go a bit spooky she comes at it with a realist attitude. Often in books like this that can be missing so it was a refreshing change, I thought, and I liked how she was drawn into everything. A book that keeps you guessing is always a good shout, there was one or two things I was left a bit hanging with but that is going to be grand for the book chat discussion, reader speculation!

This was my first time reading this author and I would absolutely read them again, creepy vibes weaved in and out an "ordinary" every day person facing an every day issue, nightmare neighbour and the old actions and consequences scenario, I do like that. 3.5/5 for me this time, I would have liked a bit more insight into a few things within the story and I wonder if the author will ever revisit any of these characters, I certainly would like to read more on them!



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Monday, 25 November 2019

A Purrfect Alibi by Leighann Dobbs

A Purrfect Alibi (The Oyster Cove Guesthouse Book 3)A Purrfect Alibi by Leighann Dobbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 219

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Fortune tellers and mediums have descended on the Oyster Cove Guesthouse, determined to solve the mystery of local seafarer Jedediah Biddeford’s murder 300 years ago... especially if it leads them to the treasure he buried on the guesthouse grounds. New owner Josie Waters has suddenly got bigger problems than burning the breakfasts: she’s up to her elbows in tarot cards and tea leaves…

When one of the mediums is found dead with an ominous note nearby, everything points to Jedediah’s ghost being the culprit. Suddenly, Josie finds that the fate of her guesthouse depends on not one murder but two, and she’s not going to rely on a crystal ball for answers. Despite the fact that cookbooks and candlesticks keep mysteriously falling off tables, Josie is sure there’s no such thing as ghosts. But guesthouse cats Nero and Marlowe know better…

Aided by her mom and eccentric family friend Millie, Josie sets out to prove the identity of the killer without summoning any spirits. Luckily Nero and Marlowe know the truth about ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night and they are on the case! Can they make Josie realize she is scratching up the wrong tree before the killer strikes again?



My Review

I came to this series with book two, I still need to read the first one but this picks up from pretty much where book two left off. I would advise reading book two as so many characters from that book are in this one and totally relevant to just about everything in this book.


We are back at the Oyster Cove Guesthouse, after the body of Jedediah Biddeford’s was uncovered (he went missing 300 years ago) a bunch of mediums and psychics have descended to solve the murder or more likely, find clues of his hidden treasure. Tensions are high, Josie Waters - the new owner of Oyster Cove is glad of the business but just wants to get by with no murders, mayhem or trouble.

When one of the group is murdered Josie finds the police and press and her place, business is under threat and she is in fear of her loan being pulled. Her resident cats Nero and Marlowe are at the ready to help the clueless humans as well as a ghost this time!

I do love this wee series, the cats get some chapters too where they discuss the ongoing investigation, the police one and their own. Whilst this may be off putting for some I absolutely love it, I love animals and these two and their wee pals trying to help the clueless humans - whats not to love.

These books remind me of murder she wrote, a fair few suspects along the way, some personal aspects and there isn't gore or anything. Just a bit of crime with some attitudey cats and lets not forget Josie's mum and her pal who do a bit of amateur investigating of their own.

This wee book has everything, murder, secrets, lies, a ghost, investigating cats, meddling relatives, psychics and ever searching for Jedediah's treasure (from the previous book). 4/5 for me this time, this is absolutely a series I will be following and hope it runs for years.


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