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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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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Woman in the Water by Katerina Diamond

Woman in the WaterWoman in the Water by Katerina Diamond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 432

Publisher - Avon Books

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

I’m alive. But I can’t be saved . . .

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed.

Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of Reece Corrigan, and when his wife Angela walks in, they immediately recognise her. She’s the woman from the river, with her injuries carefully masked.

The more they dig into the couple, the less they understand about them.

Why have people in their past been hurt, or vanished?

And why doesn’t Angela want to be saved?

Smart, shocking and twisty – perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Karin Slaughter.



My Review

Guys I read this book I think 3 or 4 books ago and it has taken me til now (and a few re writes) to get my review down. If you haven't read the previous books in the series please do as 1. you are missing out on great books and 2. the back story and character(s) I think are more meaningful if you have been through the previous books with them.

Detective Adrian Miles comes across a body in the water, a crowd are gawking and he calls it in only to discover the body is actually still alive, barely. The woman is beaten, has no recollection of what happened or how she got there and Adrian is really affected by this woman's plight. He and his partner (in more sense than one) Imogen Grey are on the case investigating. With reluctant witnesses and leads drying up, folk would rather go to unthinkable extremes than cooperate with the police.

Oh guys this is a hard one to review without going into spoilers which I never do. The story has multi dimensions to it, Adrian and Imogen's relationship, the investigation such as it is, their mystery woman, what happened to her and everything that follows once they pull her from the river. We also hear from the woman herself, her thoughts, revealing snippets as the book goes on, adding to the mystery.

The case has a huge impact on Adrian, domestic violence is something he grew up with and survived so something about this case, this woman, gets under his skin. Adrian has been known to react on emotions, behaving recklessly but he is a good cop and until now has always came out on top, his hunches pay off. The problem with things like this, the more you play with fire the likelier you are to be burned.

The case proves to be their hardest yet and has ramifications for both Miles and Grey, will Adrian's past spill into the present and can his and Grey's relationship survive this case? There are quite a few harrowing scenes in the book, domestic abuse is a huge part of it, violence, sexual abuse, coercion, murder and it is really hard hitting. If you have ever been in a domestic abuse relationship or loved anyone who has, the book evokes raw emotions, hence still thinking about it X amount of books later. Manipulation, power, the darker side of humanity - it is hard going and I think the reason it packs such a powerful punch is because we all know just how real this kind of "power" and abuse is. I don't think there will be one reader who hasn't been touched by some of these issues, either personally or by someone close to them. Hearing from the victim, seeing the actions and consequences it really makes you think about what exactly people go through and the long reaching impact traumas/experiences can have on us. Compelling, dark, emotive are just a few of the words to describe this roller coaster of a book, 4.5/5 for me this time.



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Saturday, 16 November 2019

A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin Blog Tour

Today is mine and the final stop in the blog tour for A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin, please check out the other stops as we all offer different content/reviews.




A Fatal Secret (Ryder & Loveday Mystery, #4)A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - HQ Stories

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads -

Oxford, 1961

A family day out at Briar’s Hall ends in tragedy when a young boy goes missing – and his body is found at the bottom of a disused well in the orchard.

It looks like a simple case of an eleven-year-old exploring where he shouldn’t: a tragic accident. But Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday aren’t convinced. If Eddie had been climbing and fallen, why were there no cuts or dirt on his hands? Why would a boy terrified of heights be around a well at all?

Clement and Trudy are determined to get to the truth, but the more they dig into Briar’s Hall and the mysterious de Lacey family who live there, the murkier things become.

Could it be that poor Eddie’s death was murder? There are rumours of blackmail in the village, and Clement and Trudy have a horrible feeling that Eddie stumbled on a secret that someone was willing to kill for…


My Review

We open with a nice day and someone pondering over the fact they need to kill, there is no other option, how is that for a wee opening! A boy is reported missing and the search is on, the police aren't overly concerned but sure enough they find the lad and it isn't good news. Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday are asked to look into it, on behalf of the family whose grounds it happened on. Not everyone likes people poking around in their business and of course when investigating one matter others tend to arise and someone has much to hide, enough to kill a child over!

So this is book 4 in the series, I haven't read anything by this author and can honestly say I don't feel at a disadvantage starting here. There is reference to things gone past in the previous book(s) and I think haven't my interest piqued I will absolutely be checking out the previous books. Means I will also get to know the characters better.

A chunk of the story is obviously the "investigation" into what happened to the wee boy, who was around, anyone who knew him. However we also have a huge focus on WPC Trudy, her personal life, her family and how important the job is to her. I do enjoy when a book has depth to the characters and a bit of meat in the story, not just the police procedural parts. Ryder and Loveday seem to have a tight friendship which is unusual for both the time, opposite sexes and job differences but it works. I look forward to going back to the beginning of this series and seeing how their friendship comes about. I like how it highlights how unusual Trudy's choice is to focus on a career, despite being good/successful at it. It reminds us of just how apt that was for that time and I do like books that capture a different time period and how things are so very different now! 4/5 for me this time, it may be my first dance with this author but it won't be my last, it also kept me guessing, I had no idea who the baddie was!

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Friday, 15 November 2019

The Frighteners by Peter Laws

The Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & GoreThe Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & Gore by Peter Laws
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 320

Publisher - Icon Books

Source - Bought at horrorcon

Blurb from Goodreads

The Frighteners follows the quest of Peter Laws, a Baptist minister with a penchant for the macabre, to understand why so many people love things that are spooky, morbid and downright repellent. He meets vampires, hunts werewolves in Hull, talks to a man who has slept on a mortuary slab to help him deal with a diagnosis, and is chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac through a farmhouse full of hanging bodies.

Staring into the darkness of a Transylvanian night, he asks: What is it that makes millions of people seek to be disgusted and freaked out? And, in a world that worships rationality and points an accusing finger at violent video games and gruesome films, can an interest in horror culture actually give us safe ways to confront our mortality? Might it even have power to re-enchant our jaded world?

Grab your crucifixes, pack the silver bullets, and join the Sinister Minister on his romp into our morbid curiosities.


My Review

Peter Laws is a minister who just happens to love horror, that in itself perks your attention, it isn't something you hear every day to be fair. Laws delves into horror, the movies, themes, actual true events, his experiences and how he came to embrace the genre he loves despite his "day job".

I really want to go visit Transylvania after reading this, he went for a big birthday and describes what the place is actually like, the people and things to check out. Just from reading about it, the crosses everywhere, you could totally envision it, I really want to go and check it out, the place of so many movies/legends/stories.

He takes us on a journey of some of his favourite movies, what it was that allowed his to embrace his love of horror rather than give it up as he did with so much with his faith. He also chats about how folk react to him when they realise he is a man of the cloth. From hunting down legends of a werewolf, speaking to folk who genuinely believe they transform, examining true horror acts from humans, how kids and adults process some of the most atrocious acts, it is a really interesting read.

The book has a few places he has visited and at the back of the book he references things mentioned that you can check out for further reading. I think it is a book I will go back to as there are quite a few movies and things mentioned new to me that I won't remember off the top of my head. For fans of horror who want something a wee bit different I recommend picking up a copy of this, 4/5 for me this time!

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Monday, 11 November 2019

So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter Blog Tour

Today is my turn and the final stop on the blog tour for "So Lucky" by author Dawn O'Porter.







You can read more about Dawn on Fantastic Fiction (one of my fav go to sites) https://www.fantasticfiction.com/o/dawn-oporter/ or find her on Twitter @hotpatooties



So Lucky is out to buy NOW, treebook and ebook format, enjoy!


I have my review for my stop, enjoy!

So LuckySo Lucky by Dawn O'Porter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

IS ANYONE’S LIFE . . .


Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules.
And then there’s Lauren, living the dream.


AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS?

Beth hasn’t had sex in a year.
Ruby feels like she’s failing.
Lauren’s happiness is fake news.


And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…


Fearless, frank and for everyone who’s ever doubted themselves, So Lucky is the straight-talking new novel from the Sunday Times bestseller.

Actually, you’re pretty f****** lucky to be you.



My Review

Three main characters,, Lauren we only really hear/meet through her instagram posts and captions, Ruby, mum to a three and a half year old and struggling with so many aspects of her life, motherhood, body image and interactions with just about everyone. And Beth, attentive husband, job planning weddings to the stars, beautiful baby - she has it all or does she?

The story focuses mostly on Beth and Ruby, Lauren gets her time but as I said only from what she posts on Instagram, it isn't until a good bit in we get to hear or see any actual interactions behind the Instagram posts. Beth may look like she has everything going on but really her husband hasn't touched her since she got pregnant with the baby. His mother is overbearing and the more Beth tries to initiate any kind of sexual contact the more her husband reacts negatively. We saw the cause and effect of that. Ruby is a character that is really hard to warm to, we know she has body images, we know something happened to ruin her relationship with her husband. Her interactions with her child is hard to read at some points but as the story goes on we get a better understanding of who Ruby is and why she behaves as she does.

The book has quite a few dimensions to it, we have body image, relationship breakdowns, gas lighting so subtle that the person affected is completely oblivious. Looking at "the perfect life" the person living it and actually what the reality is underneath the superficial beautiful curtain presented to society. Sex has a huge chunk of the book so if you are easily offended this book will not be for you. Some graphic chat/scenes, some humour, awkwardness and even cringe scenes that will make you laugh out loud, blush or even a tad mortified.

This is my first time reading this author so not sure if this is the vein her other books take, if it is I need to read them. Funny, bold, mortifying and more than a few scenes that does make you sit and take stock. How much do we see, read, hear in our own lives that make us question or even act/behave or want certain things. How we behave, how we are manipulated, how hard we are on ourselves and really how we should be kinder to ourselves and enjoy what we have and embrace who we are. That actually makes the book sound really heavy and it isn't, I laughed more than a few times but it does have a mix of really serious topics/undertones linked in. Normally when chapters go from character to character you get a bit annoyed as you want to follow the thread but I actually enjoyed following all the characters and seeing what was coming next for them. 4/5 for me this time, I look forward to seeing what O'Porter brings next and need to see her previous stuff!

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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Slash by Hunter Shea Blog Tour




Today is my turn on the blog tour for Slash by Hunter Shea, perfect for a October read for sure!





About the author:

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. He’s the author of over25 books, including The Jersey Devil (Pinnacle)and We Are Always Watching (Sinister Grin). Hunter’s novels can even be found on displayat the International Cryptozoology Museum.

The Montauk Monster was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. He was selected to be part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line in 2011 alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. He’s an avid pod caster and can be heard and seen on Monster Men and Final Guys every week. Living with his crazy and supportive family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to see the skyline without having to pay New York rent. You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com.

About the book:




Five years after final girl Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith. With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort,a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims.

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

Slash is out to buy NOW and a perfect read for October.

For my stop I have my review, thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours for having me on the tour, I really do need to check out this guys back catalog!

SlashSlash by Hunter Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 256

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Five years after Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith.

With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims. The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing what they expected.


My Review

Everything is fine in Todd's life, his fiance Ashley hasn't had the easiest time since escaping the claws of a maniac five years ago, the sole survivor. When Todd comes home to find Ashley has killed herself his world is turned upside down. Ashley leaves some hints to what happened five years back and Todd heads back to the abandoned resort to get some answers. What really happened that night, why did they never find the killer and why after five years was Ashley never free from it.

Oh guys! I LOVE an abandoned building and this one is a resort, a resort where five years ago a massacre took place with only Ashley surviving. Now Todd is heading back to the scene of the crime and we are going with him. The killer was never caught but that doesn't mean he has gone for good and Todd may just get exactly what he is looking for!

The killings are brutal, gruesome, sadistic, horrific and you can start to appreciate why Ashley could never sleep or get over it as details are teased out across the story. A build up of eerieness especially once we hit the resort and I LOVED the fact we have inclusive of "crime fans" or should I say fanatics, folks who became obsessed with what happened there and Ashley. It gave a more modern feel to this type of story, we have lots of murder, spooky, eerie type stories but they don't always include real life things ie podcasts, folk obsessed with serial killers, groupies` or unsolved murders. I think this is the second book I have read by this author and I really do need to check out his other stuff. If you like creepy, dark, tense and can cope with some shocking style murders, brutal in their cruelty then this is absolutely for you, 4.5/5 for me this time!


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