Sunday 29 December 2019

A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins

A Bit Of A StretchA Bit Of A Stretch by Chris Atkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days (in and out)

Publisher - Atlantic books

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

A shocking and darkly funny account of the reality of Britain's prisons.

Where can a tin of tuna buy you clean clothes? Which British education system struggles with 50% illiteracy? Where do teetotal Muslims attend AA meetings? Where is it easier to get 'spice' than paracetamol? Where does self-harm barely raise an eyebrow?

Welcome to Her Majesty's Prison Service, a creaking and surreal world that has been left to rot for decades in the shadows of polite society. Like most people, documentary-maker Chris Atkins didn't spend much time thinking about prisons. But after becoming embroiled in a dodgy scheme to fund his latest film, he was sent down for five years. His new home would be HMP Wandsworth, one of the oldest, largest, and most dysfunctional prisons in Europe.

Horrifying, moving, and darkly funny, this is the unvarnished depiction of what he found. With a cast of characters ranging from wily drug dealers to corrupt screws to senior officials bent on endless (and fruitless) reform, this is the reality behind the locked gates. Full of incredible and hilarious stories, A Bit of a Stretch reveals the true scale of our prison crisis and why it is costing us all.

My Review

I hadn't heard of Chris Atkins, a film maker who got caught up in a huge tax scam and went to jail for it. He was involved in a very small part of it but got sent to jail and this is his story of how it came about, life inside during his time, how he survived and what he experienced.

Life behind bars, we have all watched a million tv shows and read a few books on it, this one was a wee bit different for me, I felt anyway. He tells us of friendships, behaviours of the inmates, the privileges, punishments, guards good and bad and the difference between categories of prisoners and how difficult it can be to get the most basic of requests when you are incarcerated.

The book also shows how more advantaged Atkins was because of his class, skin colour and education compared to some of his fellow inmates. There is a lot of sadness, frustration and downright horror at some of the things that happened, suicide, death, loneliness, abuse of power - it really is an eye opener to people who have never experienced or been exposed to prison life. Hard to read at times due to the brutality of some of the situations, circumstances and just horror of jail life but interesting to see the huge impact it had on Atkins, 3.5/5 for me this time.

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Saturday 28 December 2019

Twas the Nightshift before Christmas by Adam Kay

Twas the Nightshift Before ChristmasTwas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 2 hours

Pages - 144

Publisher - Picador

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the hilarious, poignant and entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year. With twenty-five tales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents, the British public will finally appreciate the sacrifices made and the challenges faced by the unsung heroes of the NHS.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas will be fully illustrated (as tastefully as possible) and will delight all of Adam’s fans throughout the festive period of Christmas 2019 and for many years to come.

My Review

If you haven't read Kay's first book you may actually enjoy this more as you have nothing to compare it to. "This is going to hurt" is book one, a few hundred pages and really in depth over his career and what led to him no longer being with the NHS. This book is tiny in comparison and only covers the handful of Christmas shifts he had to do as a doctor over the festive season.

Funny, cringe, sad. horrific and lots and lots of swearing. Kay takes you on a journey with him as he covers many medical situations in his time in the NHS and a wee glimpse of some of the issues the staff face, no time off for a loved ones funeral :O and some of the weird and wonderful things human beings experience.

There is one chapter highlighted before it goes into it that some readers may find horrific and hard going, on abortion and one particular case for him. It is well signposted and you can skip past which I think is really good of him as once seen you can't unsee and abortion is a very emotive subject for many for a variety of reasons. Like I said if you read and loved the first book I am sure you will enjoy this one, I did but I couldn't help but compare the two from the minute I got my hands on the physical book of this one. Lacking in size, depth and maybe a quarter of what the original one gave us, to be fair I could read his stories all day and was left wanting more, 3.5/5 for me.

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Thursday 19 December 2019

46% Better than Dave by Alastair Puddick Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour, I have content for my spot, please check out the other stops as we all over different content.


A novel of jealousy, muddy shoes and giant barbecues.

Dave Brookman’s new next-door neighbour is ruining his life. Because in a bizarre coincidence, he’s also called Dave Brookman, he’s the same age and he even grew up in the same town. There is one big difference, though. This new Dave is vastly more successful in every way.

As Dave starts questioning everything about himself, suddenly his perfect life seems a lot less than perfect. And what starts as friendly rivalry soon turns into obsessive jealousy and crazy behaviour that could see Dave lose it all. Can he get a grip before it’s too late?


Alastair Puddick is a writer and editor who has spent the past 20 years writing for a variety of magazines and websites. His work has spanned many different paths, from jetting off to exciting cities across the world to writing about dating advice, data centres, facilities management and the exciting world of flooring. He also once wrote an agony advice column posing as Elvis Presley's ghost.

Alastair still works as a copywriter and lives in Sussex with his wife, Laura, and cat, George. He has written three novels: The Unexpected Vacation of George Thring, Killing Dylan and his newest book, 46% Better Than Dave.

Click HERE to buy your copy

Alastair Puddick Guest Blog Post – My Favourite Character to Write

My favourite character

Rude, curmudgeonly, crass and outrageous, Freddie Winters is my favourite character to write.

I love an antihero in fiction. People of questionable character, who live by a more complicated moral code. Those people brave enough to live life their own way, without apology. Not always living by society’s rules, or strictly within the law. But who still have a good heart and can be called upon to save the day – even if somewhat begrudgingly. Characters like Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Dexter Morgan (Darkly Dreaming Dexter), Allan Karlsson (The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared) or The Bookseller with No Name (Mystery Man).

When I first had the idea for Killing Dylan, I knew what story I wanted to tell – the central plot, the key crime and the motivation for doing it. I knew what was happening to whom, and why people were doing what they were doing. The very first draft I wrote was actually written from the point of the view of the titular character. But there was something missing. The story needed an extra edge.

I thought about how other crime books worked, with a dedicated detective, armed with years of experience and success, and a burning desire to uncover the truth. Then I thought, why not spin that on its head? Maybe the central protagonist, who had to solve the crime, could be someone with no experience, very little success, no real clue of what they’re doing and who doesn’t really want to be there in the first place. The idea made me smile, and my antihero, Freddie Winters, was born.

The wrong man for the job

Freddie was partly inspired by the TV show Castle, in which a very famous, successful mystery novelist joins up with the NYPD to enthusiastically solve crimes in his spare time (itself a kind of update of Murder She Wrote). However, rather than a successful novelist, Freddie is not very good (although he can’t see that). He just about manages to carve out a living writing books that nobody buys, and organising his own impromptu book signings. He hates that he isn’t more successful, when all of his peers have gone on to do so much better. He can’t pay his rent. He can barely afford to eat. And he hates the world for it.

Freddie is curmudgeonly and rude. He’s bold and outspoken. He can’t understand why people don’t see how brilliant he is. And his bad attitude often gets him into a lot of trouble.

Living life his own way

I always have a lot of fun writing Freddie Winters. He is completely incorrigible. He says things that he shouldn’t (that nobody should), and he doesn’t apologise for it. He does things his own way – even when that way offends or upsets people (or sometimes because of it), or even breaks a few laws. Despite that, his heart is firmly in the right place, and he can (almost) always be called upon to do the right thing – especially if there’s a bit of money in it for him.

I love how brave Freddie is (even though, technically, he’s a bit of a coward). He’s brash and confident. He doesn’t suffer fools and he’s not afraid to tell people what he really thinks. Most of all, he stands up for what he believes in. He stands up for his friends. And when push comes to shove, he’ll put himself in harm’s way to protect those people he loves.

A little bit of me

My wife has often said she thinks Freddie Winters is me, if I were brave enough to really say what’s on my mind. I guess there’s a little truth to that. Although the character is not autobiographical, there definitely is a little bit of me in him. Whenever you create a character, their experiences will always be based upon your own – even if you completely subvert things to create someone completely opposite to yourself. And, okay, I’ll admit some of the things Freddie moans about are the same things that get on my nerves, too.

That’s probably why I enjoy writing Freddie so much. I make him say the most outrageous things, have terrible opinions, act in a completely outlandish way and do really mean-spirited, ghastly things – the sort of things that make me gasp and laugh in equal measure. And hopefully they make other people laugh, too.

Freddie Winters is definitely my favourite character to write. So much so, in fact, that I’ve recently started work on his next adventure. I can’t wait to see what outrageous things he gets up to next, and book two in the Freddie Winters series should hopefully be with you soon. And in the meantime, why not check out my other books at

Monday 16 December 2019

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Christmas Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #9)Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - Bantam Press

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic!

The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author.

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It's always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it's even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky's parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she'll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

My Review

Keep in mind this is book 9 in a series and my first time reading this series, I know I know, some readers will be exploding reading that! Becky Brandon is a shopaholic I mean it is the shopaholic series but this girl has an addiction you quickly realise how bad within the first few chapters. Her other half is pretty supportive (enabling), she is a parent and Christmas is fast approaching. Christmas is family time and Becky is hosting this year, the list of demands is pouring in, she is trying to keep on top of the shopping (personal and Christmas).

So being new to the series I wasn't sure what to expect, it splits into a few things, Becky's shopping addiction, the whole run up to Christmas and family life. Some of the antics is pretty funny, trying to cater for so many, you know how stressful Christmas can be. Her sister is a vegan so that is extra catering but she also seems quite difficult which causes additional stress and hilarity (for the reader). Becky's parents make some life choices that brings challenges and hilarity, a whatsapp group that moves so quickly that even my head was spinning but I did chuckle. Fling in a high profile ex boyfriend, unresolved feelings, shopping, Christmas, family dramas are a glimpse of what is in store.

I flipped back on forth on Becky, I liked her, I didn't, she was self involved/selfish, thoughtless but then flipped my opinion. One of those characters I took a bit to warm to but mind, this is book 9 and I am just meeting her. I think I would have a different viewpoint if I knew her from book one, I think I will pick the others up as I find them, 3.5/5 for me this time.

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Saturday 14 December 2019

Black Summer by Mike Craven Blog Tour

Black Summer (Washington Poe, #2)Black Summer by M.W. Craven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 352

Publisher - Constable

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He's currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again - and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

My Review

Tilly and Poe are BACK! An old case of Poe's comes back to bite him and he needs help. Calling in Tilly - Poe has to investigate, delicately, whilst having to answer to his colleagues, judgement and the horrific possibility he got it wrong and an innocent went to jail.

Poe is a good cop, he has great instincts and he knows he put a bad guy behind bars yet proof has come to light he got it wrong. The dynamic duo, Tilly & Poe have to work together to investigate how this could happen.

Chapter one, oh dear Lord, I had the boke! There is a scene in a restaurant and they talk about a dish that is barbaric to the animal in the prep of it. If you struggle with animal cruelty you may want to skip past when they start talking about it, it will stay with me a long time. I thought how lobsters were done was bad, this is the thing of horrors, be warned. That said, there isn't much in the way of animal cruelty after this and we get back to the meat of the story.

The uniqueness that is Tilly Bradshaw and her friendship with Poe is one of my fav things about these books. Tilly is a one of a kind, socially inappropriate at times, funny, caring, innocent, super smart and fiercely loyal. I love their interaction and when the story kicks off I was hooked pretty quick wanting to know how, how could this happen. I think if you snag your reader quickly you know you have a winning formula, Craven seems to have this knack, certainly with this series. I need to check out his other books! Fast paced, interactions with a psychopath, police investigations and the long awaited Tilly & Poe bantz, 4/5 for me, roll on book 3!

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Friday 13 December 2019

When Stars Will Shine Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for When Stars Will Shine, week one is as follows:

And week two, we all offer different content/reviews so please check out the other stops.

About the book:

Available to buy from AMAZON NOW

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!

A Note from Emma Mitchell:

As the blurb tells us, When Stars Will Shine is a multi-genre collection of Christmas-themed short stories compiled to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity.

Working closely with Kate Noble at Noble Owl Proofreading and Amanda Ni Odhrain from Let’s Get Booked, I’ve been able to pick the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winter’s night. I have been completely blown away by the support we’ve received from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and Shell Baker from Baker’s Not So Secret Blog, who has organised the cover reveal and blog tour.

There isn’t a person in the country who hasn’t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour working on these stories, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.

Authors involved with the book can be found on Twitter:

Twitter handles:

Robert Scragg: @robert_scragg

Paul Moore: @mooros69

Graham Smith: @grahamsmith1972

Malcolm Hollingdrake: @MHollingdrake

Alex Kane: @AlexKaneWriter

Owen Mullen: @OwenMullen6

Gordon Bickerstaff: @GFBickerstaff

Lexi Rees: @Lexi_Rees

Megan Steer: @tjsarcat15

Anna Franklin Osborne: @HomeOsborne

Stewart Giles: @stewartGiles

Jane Risdon: @Jane_Risdon

Louise Jensen: @fabricating_fiction

Rob Ashman: @RobAshmanAuthor

Carmen Radtke: @carmenradtke1

Val Portelli: @ValPortelli

Mark Brownless: @MarkBrownless

John Carson: @JohnCarsonBooks

Kris Egleton: @Mouse6420

Paul T. Campbell: @PtcCampbell

Lucy Cameron: @lucycomeron22

KA Richardson: @KerryAnn77

Billy McLaughlin: @bilbob20

When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes, One Page At A TimeWhen Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes, One Page At A Time by Emma Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - In & out over 4 days

Pages - Kindle edition

Publisher - Creating Perfection

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

My Review

If you follow my reviews you know I am not a huge fan of short stories but because this is for a good cause and there are so many great authors contributing I gave it a go. Not disappointed guys, initially I took note of every title and was going to do a very brief review for each story but decided to just do it as a whole. All the stories have a very diffrent feel/voice as you would expect with so many different authors having input. I felt the initial opening story packed an emotive punch and had the right tone/story content for what the book represents.

The other stories covers a range of topics/issues, war, post traumatic stress, violence, abuse, Christmas, ghosts, family, personal growth, stalker - to be honest you are hard pushed to name a topic that isn't covered in the book.

The stories vary in length but all are relatively short but equally have enough content/depth to drawn you in and keep your interest. There are a few authors who are either new to me or I haven't heard of, because of the writing I will be checking the majority of them out (some I already know). It doesn't really matter what your preferred genre is, I absolutely recommend this book, not only is it a great cause but a fantastic way to try out authors that may be new to you. Well done to Emma for pulling this together, thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and exposing me to many new authors, 4.5/5 for me this time!

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Tuesday 10 December 2019

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

The Christmas SistersThe Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 416

Publisher - HQ Stories

Source - Bought & review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?

My Review

Suzanne McBride just wants everything perfect, her daughters are coming home for Christmas, business is booming and things are great. Suzanne is stressed, not only is her nightmares still coming but her three girls are going to be together and she just wants them all to be happy. Suzanne adopted the three girls as children and just wants them to be happy, healthy and close. Posy lives there, primed to take over the business when Suzanne retired, Posy loves the mountains, climbing and adventure. Beth is beautiful, has her own little girls and the perfect family life but secretly wants more, something for her. Hannah is career driven and keeps her cards closest to her chest, she doesn't call Suzanne mum and even her sisters feel she is keeping them at length. This will be the Christmas they all need to be honest with themselves, each other and with honesty comes truths, upset and things that will change the family as they know it.

The chapters jump between the characters, seamlessly giving the reader a chance to get to know each of the ladies, how they are and perceived by each other. How they all appear to each other but as we read their chapters we see a different side to them or how they actually see themselves.

As with any family there are issues, perceptions, anger, the past influencing the present/future and this family are no different. The setting is predominantly the Scottish highlands, it is cold, snowy and the perfect setting for a Christmas themed story. If you like family dramas, relationships, love, siblings and unresolved issues from childhood impacting adulthood you will love this. Sank it pretty much in one sitting, characters you can either relate to or invest in, 4/5 for me this time. I will absolutely be looking out for more by this author and actually think I have one or two on my tbrm.

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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:





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.

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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. 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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Saturday 23 November 2019

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The ChainThe Chain by Adrian McKinty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 357

Publisher - Mulholland Books

Source - Bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.

My Review

Rachel has a lot going on, health issues hanging over her, her ex husband and his new girlfriend and now her child has been kidnapped. The kidnappers inform her she is now part of the chain, they have had to kidnap her daughter to get their kid back. Any attempt to contact the police or anyone who could risk the chain will result in her child being killed. It isn't about the money, it is about the chain and in order to get her child back Rachel will need to bring this parental hell down on another family. She has no choice, Rachel needs to kidnap another child!

Ohhh the book kicks off really quickly to be honest, we flip between mostly Rachel and her struggling to come to terms with her predicament and everything she has to do. We hear little bits from her child, from just before to during her kidnapping as well as another character we know don't really know much about until later and a wee bit from the "bad guys", all told in third person.

For me I just couldn't see where this was going, where it would end, how it would resolve and it is always good when a book keeps you guessing like that. You feel the utter distraught Rachel is feeling and the horrific choices forced upon her. I am not even a parent and I had baited breath at points.

It isn't action action action as we follow the parent but there is plenty to keep you hooked and firing through page after page. I couldn't wait to see where it would end and I believe this is being made into a tv series or movie, cannot wait to see it. I have heard some grumbles about how it was round up and you know I have had a few flinging my toys out the pram at how some books end but I really liked this and thought it was done well. I had a few gasp out loud moments as well as a bit of rage at some characters. Some of the plot is a bit out there but it made for brilliant reading and sometimes truth is stranger than fiction so anything goes! Always good when a book gets reactions from you, 4/5 for me this time, I think this is my first by this author but I will be checking out their other stuff!

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Friday 22 November 2019

Into The Dark by Karen Rose Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Into The Dark by Karen Rose, please check the other stops as we all offer different content. For my stop I have my review, enjoy!

About the book:

Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Rose is back with the gripping fifth installment of the Cincinnati series. Fans of James Patterson, Karin Slaughter and Tess Gerritsen will love this unputdownable race to stop a serial killer out for revenge.

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again. Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined. As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...

Into the Dark (Romantic Suspense #23; Cincinnati #5)Into the Dark by Karen Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 3 days as able

Pages - 480

Publisher - Headline

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again.

Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined.

As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...

My Review

All Michael has ever done is look out for his wee brother Joshua, their mother is more interested in her addictions and husband than she is in her children's well being or needs. Michael has suffered horrific abuse at his stepdad's hands and won't allow the same to happen to his brother. When he stops his stepfather from bringing harm to Joshua he unwittingly comes onto the radar of a killer who will stop at nothing to remain free.

If you have followed the series you will know the the main characters Dani and Diesel, we have all bee rooting for them from the earlier books but Dani keeps Diesel at arms length. In this book we get a bit more insight into why and hope that maybe this time we will get the union we have all been hoping for. Michael and Joshua end up crossing paths with Dani and Diesel, the killing is hunting down people who threaten his freedom and the boys need protecting, Dani, Diesel and the team are the perfect candidates for the job.

There is abuse mentioned in the book, sex scenes, love, relationships, friendships and if you have followed the previous books and series we get wee snippets of some of our previous much loved characters. The book is deep in some areas and some of the topics a bit hard hitting, sexual abuse, the impact of having a health condition that impacts on so many areas of your life but it has so many positives too. Strength, love, unity, friendship, personal growth and so much more. If you enjoy Rose's previous books you will love this, action, character growth/development, hearing from the bad guy's point of view. I look forward to Rose's next book and seeing what is in store for the characters we have grown to love along the years, 4.5/5 for me this time.

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Wednesday 20 November 2019

Look Who It Is My Story by Alan Carr

Look Who It Is!: My StoryLook Who It Is!: My Story by Alan Carr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 301

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads

The brilliantly funny and inimitable Alan Carr tells his life story in his own words, from growing up in a football-mad family in Northampton to his rise to become one of Britain's best-loved comedians.

My Review

I love Alan Carr, put him on the tele and you are bound to be in stitches, his voice, facial expressions, I could listen to him all day. So when I saw this book years ago I bought it and it has stayed on my TBRM for years. I finally got round to it. I read it all in his voice which just adds to the humour.

He takes us on his lifes journey, from being a kid, growing up, problems with his appearance, figuring out who he was. His father is big in football and many people expected a young Alan would follow in his footsteps. He goes through his time growing up, education onto his career and how he got into comedy.

I don't do a lot of non fiction, autobiographies but I really did enjoy this one. I also saw he has another book, Alanatomy out and bought it a few weeks back, it will not sit on the shelves for years! If you like learning more about celebs, humour and all things Alan Carr this is for you, 4/5 for me this time. I am looking forward to reading his next book and may re watch his dvds, I just love listening to him, guy is hilar!

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Dark Undertakings by Rebecca Tope

Dark Undertakings (Drew Slocombe, #1)Dark Undertakings by Rebecca Tope
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 510

Publisher - Allison & Busby

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Fifty-five-year-old Jim Lapsford makes an unusually healthy-looking corpse. A life-long devotee of vitamin pills and herbal remedies, it seems almost ironic that he has succumbed to a heart attack. His GP is convinced that this is the case but trainee undertaker Drew Slocombe isn't so sure and he is convinced that there is enough conflicting medical evidence to merit a coroner's inquest at least. And then there's Jim's personal life: in addition to a long suffering wife, two sons and a grieving terrier, Jim appears to have left behind a series of scorned mistresses. It seems everyone else is happy enough to accept the doctor's verdict and Drew shouldn't really rock the boat, but can he really turn his back on murder? Jim Lapsford may already be dead but surely he deserves to have his killer caught? Even so, Drew may have plenty of suspects but he has no proof. And Jim's cremation is days away...

My Review

Jim Lapsford is the last person you expect to die in his sleep, or die at such a young age. A picture of health it is a shock to the town that he has died. Trainee undertaker and ex nurse Drew Slocombe isn't as convinced and feels something is a miss, no postmortem no one seems concerned by him, Drew starts investigating himself. Could someone have killed Jim? As Drew starts digging it becomes clear there are many with potential motives for taking Jim out but has someone really committed murder or is Drew just hung up on his own past?

I flipped back and forth on 2.5/3 stars for this, the majority of characters I just couldn't get my head around their attitudes. Even with the coroner being told to cut down on post mortems, this is a relatively young gentleman who has died unexpectedly. Then when concerns are raised the families attitude, anyone close to him, no one seems fussed. Some of their reactions are perplexing, irritating or out right annoying.

Drew really goes a bit on the ledge for this one, to the point of obsessive but even some of his actions or reactions you are like, really??? Then things that come to light or happen after Drew shakes it up and people's behaviour is just really bizarre. I did wonder if it was to make you think X person was guilty hence acting like they were. I just found the whole thing, from the living characters, their behaviours, attitudes, actions all a bit hard to swallow.

Other than that I was pretty curious as to what had happened, if it was some kind of skulduggery. I would read this author again but this wasn't one I loved at all, 2.5/5 for me this time. Have you read it? What did you think?

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Monday 18 November 2019

A Mrs Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber Blog Tour

Today is my stop and final day of the blog tour for A Mrs Miracle Christmas by author Debbie Macomber

A Mrs. Miracle ChristmasA Mrs. Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 272

Publisher -

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

As the holiday season begins, Laurel McCullough could use some good news. She and her husband, Zach, have been praying for a baby that seems more and more like an impossible dream, and they've had to move in with her beloved grandmother, Helen, who's having trouble taking care of herself. But when Laurel contacts a local home-care organization for help, there are no caregivers available.

Then Mrs. Miracle appears at her door. No stranger to lending a helping hand to a family in need, Mrs. Miracle reveals herself to be nothing short of a godsend. Helen's even convinced she's an angel! Still, Laurel has to admit that Helen has become noticeably happier and more engaged, decorating the family Christmas tree and setting up the nativity with Mrs. Miracle's companionship. In the meantime, Laurel and Zach begin to encounter curious signs, all pointing toward the arrival of a special baby.

With Christmas approaching, there appears to be even more to Mrs. Miracle than meets the eye. In a classic turn of Debbie Macomber's signature seasonal magic, Laurel, Zach, and Helen experience a holiday of heavenly proportions.

My Review

This is my first seasonal read and a perfect introduction into this authors work. Meet Laurel, teacher, carer for her gran, wife to Zach and given up on hope of becoming a mother. After an adoption fell through Laurel has cut off all hope of them ever having or adopting a baby. Her wee gran Helen is getting worse, her dementia progressing and it is having an impact on Laurel's work and serious concerns for Helen's safety. When Mrs Miracle comes along at the perfect time there is a notable difference in Helen and little "impossible" things start to happen bringing love, happiness and dare I say it, hope.

There are nods and references to religion throughout but as part of the story rather than anything preachy and all in fitting with Christmas and what the holiday is. Laurel is someone I think most if not all women can relate to, her longing, her hurt, her situation and loss. Her wee gran is a soul and it is heart warming to see her transformation when Mrs Miracle comes into their lives.

The book is sweet and uplifting but it does have some serious topics that just adds to the heart of the story when Mrs Miracle comes into full swing. Whilst this was my first dance with this author it won't be my last, 4/5 for me this time.

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Sunday 17 November 2019

Wee surprise giveaway

You guys know I love supporting authors, where able. I also love seeing authors supporting others and recently I seen author M A Comley (Mel Comley) doing just that. She is always just a really nice person and so good to others.

So, I am doing a wee giveaway to support her and thank her for being so nice to someone else (it wasn't me I just saw it).

Mel has loads of books and series so it is hard to pick but I have went for book one of the Hero series, Torn Apart. This is an ebook giveaway and as the book will be sent directly from Amazon the competition is open to UK ONLY, Amazon won't allow me to gift outside my own country guys so apologies. However I do have another giveaway that is worldwide so check that out HERE.

Blurb for the book from Amazon

From M A Comley NY Times bestselling author of the Justice series.

Evil emerges in many forms...

Keen on goading the police, prompting them into action.

A senseless murder is discovered...

DI Nelson took an oath to rid the streets of the dross in society, however, someone has their own agenda for making the streets safe.

Will this person prove to be a hindrance or help in the investigation?

Nelson is forced to put his life on the line to seek the answers.

With many dangerous obstacles in his way...

Grab this fast-paced thriller - if you dare!

Ideal for fans of James Patterson and Angela Marsons.

If you are wondering how things are going with the new blog assistant, Miss Luna Paws......

Here she is, she was 16 weeks old yesterday, still very much in training but has her moments for "helping" - she has her own instagram but infiltrates ours too always_reading To enter, as always, just use the Rafflecopter below. Please only complete entries you actually do, winning entries are always checked. Thanks and good luck guys.

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