Tuesday 28 May 2019

Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop, please check out the other stops as we all offer different content.

Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international bestseller and a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. The Island has sold over 1.2million copies in the UK and more than 5 million worldwide. Her affection for the Mediterranean then took her to Spain, which inspired her second bestseller The Return, and she returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki in The Thread, shortlisted for a British Book Award and confirming her reputation as an inspirational storyteller. It was followed by her much-admired Greece-set short story collection, The Last Dance and Other Stories. The Sunrise, a Sunday Times Number One bestseller about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was published to widespread acclaim in 2014. Victoria’s most recent book, Cartes Postales from Greece was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller and one of the Top Ten biggest selling paperbacks of 2017. Her novels have sold 10 million copies worldwide.

Find Victoria on Twitter: @VicHislop



Those Who Are LovedThose Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 4 days

Pages - 480

Publisher - Headline

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

Those Who Are Loved is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars.

Themis is part of a family bitterly divided by politics and, as a young woman, her fury with those who have collaborated with the Nazis, drives her to fight for the communists. She is eventually imprisoned on the notorious islands of exile, Makronisos and Trikeri, and has to make a life or death decision. She is proud of having fought, but for the rest of her life is haunted by some of her actions. Forty years after the end of the civil war, she finally achieves catharsis.

Victoria Hislop sheds light on the complexity of Greece’s traumatic past and weaves it into the dynamic tale of a woman who is both hero and villain, and her lifelong fight for justice.

My Review

Themis Stavridis is our main character, we open at a family meal and Themis is in her latter years of life, a long existence that has experienced and survived more than most read about. Themis gives the gift of her history, family secrets and survival during some of Greece's horrendous and bloody history.

I have read Hislop quite a few times and I do love her writing style, she covers history of the country but brings passion and devastation through the lives of her characters who live it. Themis has a turbulent childhood, poverty, war, terror and internal issues growing up in a family with so much emotional issues, sibling rivalry and parental issues.

There are so many aspects to this story as is Hislop's signature, she is so talented and really pulls the reader into the time, conditions and emotive challenges the characters face. There is a strong focus on the family dynamics, war is affecting them all, politics and how it divides them. Then the aspect of living during a war, how it affects them day to day, personal growth, survival and the consequences of decisions.

A very emotive book at times and always makes me want to read about the history of a place, it always sparks the need to learn more about what/where inspires her to write with such passion. 4.5/5 for me this time, I have another one or two of hers on my tbrm mountains, I need to bump them up!

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Monday 27 May 2019

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

Dead Inside (Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller, #1)Dead Inside by Noelle Holten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 352

Publisher - Killer Reads

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?

My Review

A debut novel that grips pretty much from the get go. Domestic abusers are being beaten to death and DC Maggie Jamieson is on the case. These men are despicable creatures and trying to uncover why they may be a target isn't hard, figuring out who would want to is! The investigation is on, in between this we have the main character, Lucy Sherwood, probation officer and link to them all. When the fourth victim turns up Lucy is very much a figure of interest with her own secrets and issues can Lucy prove her innocence? Is she innocent?

There is a lot of focus on Lucy, her personal circumstance, her job and what she has to endure, these men are vile "human beings" and we see two sides of Lucy. Lucy the probation officer who takes no snash and faces these men, their intimidation/threats. Then we see Lucy Sherwood, abused wife living with a controlling, aggressive, violent always ready to trigger husband.

I do like a book where yes we have crime/action/murder etc but you very much get the human aspect with deeper insight into the characters. What they endure, survive and how they manage to put their face on to mask it to the world, their colleagues and those closest, very accurate of how some people live in the real word. Whilst we are getting better at talking about domestic abuse and admitting it exists we still have so much more we need to do. I think if you have experienced this in your lifetime this book will hit more than one emotive tone with you, memories, emotions may well be evoked. It is a book that deals with very disturbing scenarios, characteristics and hard hitting themes, it is hard to believe it is a debut. I very much look forward to more by Holten, a star is on the rise, 4.5/5 for me!

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Monday 20 May 2019

Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Henry Blog Tour

Today I am opening the blogtour for Becoming Mrs Lewis by author Patti Henry

For my stop I have a Q&A with the author.

What prompted you to write this story?

At first I thought I was writing about the improbable love story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis but then I realized that I was actually writing about the beautiful and fiery transformational journey of an incredible poet and writer. Joy’s life and how she overcame hardship inspired me to tell her story from her point of view.

How much research did you do?

I spent years deep in the life of Joy Davidman, and to some extent therefore C. S. Lewis. I made a decision early on to tell this story from her point of view; from behind her eyes; from the key of empathy. I was tired of hearing about her and wanted to hear from her.

Is the extracts from the letters from the originals?

The letters are imagined. All of Joy and Jack’s letters to each other have either been lost or destroyed. Although I had to imagine the letters, they were inspired by real letters they both wrote to others during that time period.

The voice is very authentic, I feel like I have picked up her diary, how much is Joy and how much is you?

Oh, wow. This is the nicest compliment. I wanted to fully inhabit her voice and often I felt like I did. Nothing of my life is in this novel, but how to know how much of myself snuck in? I don’t know. I always say that the work isn’t about me, but it is from me.

How much of the book is artistic license?

The skeleton of the story is as solid true as history can tell us. The timeline, the books they wrote, the actual events, etc. What must be imagined are their emotions and conversations for the most part. The scenes as they are fleshed out also must be imagined. We can know they met for dinner, but the scene itself must unfold in the mind and heart.

There are a few historical events or happenings nodded to, did you do a lot of research for that?

Yes! I mapped out the times and years that the book took place and made sure that each day was historically accurate.

What was your favourite thing about writing the book?

Coming to know Joy was my very favorite part of writing this. She came alive for me in so many ways. I felt as if she had just been waiting to be dusted off and brought back to life in her story. I was honored to do so.

Did you worry about writing this particular story? From an authentic point of view, capturing what they had?

I was worried, yes. I still am sometimes. These are real people who lived real lives in the world. I worried very much, and still do, about being authentic and fair to them and to their families. I do know, though, that I did the best I knew how and honored them with all my heart and words.

How did this compare to the other books you have written?

It was only different in the research and in the attempt to stick to a definite timeline and solid facts. Otherwise the process of sitting down and understanding a character’s motivations and heart were the same.

What is next for Patti?

I have a summer novel coming out June 4th, 2019 titled The Favorite Daughter and I am working on a new historical novel set in Savannah, Georgia.

You can buy your copy NOW from Amazon HERE

Sunday 19 May 2019

Lara The Runaway Cat by Dion Leonard

Lara The Runaway Cat: One Cat’s Journey to Discover Home Is Where the Heart IsLara The Runaway Cat: One Cat’s Journey to Discover Home Is Where the Heart Is by Dion Leonard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 288

Publisher - HarperElement

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Lara the Runaway Cat tells the story of Gobi, the loveable pup who followed Dion Leonard across a gruelling 155-mile trek across the Gobi Desert, and her mischievous cat sister, Lara, who runs away from her family, seeking a courageous adventure and different life.

Lara doesn’t realise how good she has it in her home in Edinburgh with her owners, Dion and Lucja, and of course her sister, Gobi. If she’s being honest, she’s jealous of Gobi’s fame and the international attention she has received ever since Dion found her. Okay, Gobi may have survived an ultra-marathon across the Gobi Desert, but it’s not as if Lara doesn’t earn her fresh prawns! She dreams about the day when she can go outdoors and see the world, discover new friends and be free to make her own name.

But Lara’s wishful thinking gets the better of her as she takes a leap into the unknown and is forced to decide between her loyalties to her family and need to experience an adventure to rival Gobi’s. Join Lara in her eventful travels from Edinburgh to France, Beijing to Australia, where she is faced with challenges that will change her life forever.

Following on from the astounding real-life story of Dion Leonard, this fictionalised tale is a must-read for animal lovers everywhere.

My Review

Gobi is the famous dog who has her whole book and came home to Lara's family, Lara is a cat by the way and not happy. All she hears is Gobi's adventures, her family goes off touring and travelling well now it is Lara's turn.

Told from Lara's perspective and voice with the odd chapter by Gobi we get an insight into the life of a cat with a famous dog sibling. She decides she is going for her own adventure and takes the reader with her.

Doing good deeds, helping others along the way, learning to be self sufficient instead of the pampered puss she has always been we follow her journey and adventures. We see a huge change in Lara and the insight into what we want isn't always what we really want but we don't always realise until we find our own path. Yes it is a story told by a cat but a lot of the lessons/relationships and love within the pages are applicable to humans, 3.5/5 for me this time. I haven't read Gobi's story but after the references in this book I think I may check it out. If you like stories told by and from animal points of view you will enjoy this.

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Friday 17 May 2019

Sonny and Me - Ross Sayers Book Launch

Today was the perfect day for my wee Cranachan totebag. I was meeting the girls for food then we headed to Waterstones for the book launch "Sonny and Me" by Ross Sayers, out to buy now, treebook and ebook format - Amazon link!

Blurb for the book

FOURTH YEAR. TWO PALS. ONE MURDER.WELCOME TO BATTLEFIELD HIGH...‘Whoever said yer school days are the best days ae yer life was at the absolute wind up. I hink maist adults dinnae mind whit it was really like. Wait til yeese hear whit Sonny and me got detention for...’Daughter and Sonny are two best friends just trying to get through fourth year at high school. But when their favourite teacher leaves unexpectedly, and no one will say why, the boys decide to start their own investigation. As they dig deeper into the staff at Battlefield High, they discover a dark secret which one person will kill to protect...Will they uncover the truth without being expelled? Can their friendship survive when personal secrets are revealed? And will they manage to skive off double English?"A unique blend of crime and comedy with an inclusive cast of characters, SONNY AND ME is brilliant: intriguing, heart-warming, and very funny." Sophie Cameron

The place was packed, every seat taken and folk standing.

Ross was interviewed by fellow author Caroline Logan whose book is coming out, by Cranachan, in October this year "The Stone of Destiny".

Ross read the first chapter of the book and we all laughed, I love Scottish humour/banter so I will be bumping the book up my TBRM.

His mum made wee biscuits with the book cover on it, I love this and just think it is such a lovely wee touch!

You can find Ross on Twitter and Facebook

Thursday 16 May 2019

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Things in JarsThings in Jars by Jess Kidd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over a week

Pages - 416

Publisher - Canongate books

Source - Review book

Blurb from Goodreads

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.

Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.

My Review

Victorian era, 1800s, meet Bridie, anatomist/detective she is hired to discreetly find Christabel, a child that no one knows about and very valuable on the black market. Meeting blocks at every turn Bridie has to do what she can to save the child but Christabel is no ordinary child and some folk will kill to get their hands on her.

This is a bit of a mixed bag, Bridie is a belter of a character, different, fierce especially for her time and she encounters a ghost that follows her around. Whist doing her thing and following the clues we also get kick backs to when Bridie was younger and how she came to be who she is now, her interest in human bodies/anatomy.

I laughed at a few parts of this, some tongue in cheek type humour and just the way Bridie is. Then there are some real dark parts too, poverty, death, murder, folklore - it is a mixed bag. This was my first read at this author it won't be my last, I can't say the author reminds me of X author as I don't think I have read anything like this before. I enjoyed it and wasn't sure where it was going, certainly a different read and kept my interest, 3.5/5 for me.

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Monday 13 May 2019

The Wrong Envelope by Liz Treacher

Welcome to the blog blitz for "The Wrong Envelope" by Liz Treacher, this is a blog blitz for #LoveBooksTours.

Blurb for the book

Summer 1920. Two worlds are about to collide.Evie Brunton loves her job. Twice a day, she spins along the narrow lanes of Devon on her bicycle, delivering letters from a heavy post bag. When the flamboyant London artist, Bernard Cavalier, drops like a meteor into her sleepy village, everything changes. Bernard is supposed to be painting for an important exhibition, but the countryside has its own charms, in particular his young post lady…Light and witty, and full of twists and turns, The Wrong Envelope is a charming romantic comedy. It captures the spirit of another age – when letters could change lives.

Buy Link from Amazon.

About the author

Liz is a writer, a Creative Writing teacher and an Art photographer. She lives in the Highlands of Scotland with a view of the sea. Her love of images influences her writing.

Her debut novel, 'The Wrong Envelope', is a romantic comedy, set in 1920 in Devon, England. It tells the story of Bernard, an impulsive artist and Evie, his beautiful post lady. You can watch the trailer on this page, under 'Videos'. Light and witty, and full of twists and turns, 'The Wrong Envelope' captures the spirit of another age - when letters could change lives.

The sequel, 'The Wrong Direction', follows Evie and Bernard to London, and charts their further adventures in Mayfair's high society. Wild parties, flirtatious models, jealous friends - Bernard and Evie must negotiate many twists and turns if they are to hold on to each other.

You can find Liz on her website and Twitter

For my stop I have a wee extract from the book, enjoy!

This extract is about when the post lady, Evie Brunton invites the artist, Bernard Cavalier for dinner with her parents.

Mr Brunton looked pointedly at his watch. ‘I’m sure he’ll be here any minute—’ Evie began. ‘I hope so dear, or the chicken will be overdone,’ said Mrs Brunton, hurrying out to have another look at it.‘I can’t abide lateness in a young man,’ said Mr Brunton.

The doorbell rang and Evie rushed to get it. Bernard was well turned out in a jacket and tie. But in the pocket of his jacket, an enormous spotted hanky, possibly the one that had earlier acted as a germ barrier, fanned out in an over-exuberant way. It seemed so out of place in their dingy porch that she couldn’t bear to look at it. It also made her dress look shabby somehow. ‘Do come in,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’ He was holding a bunch of flowers and they hadn’t travelled well. As he stepped into the house, a few heads fell off and landed on the carpet. She led him into the parlour where her father was waiting. ‘Bernard Cavalier,’ said her father, getting up to greet him. He said cavalier, like the adjective. ‘E – A. Caval E – A, like the French knight,’ Evie said quickly. ‘Mr Burnton,’ Bernard smiled, getting his own back. Mrs Brunton emerged from the kitchen, flushed from the range. Bernard gave a low bow. ‘Enchanté, Madame!’ he said and, taking her hand, kissed it in a very gallant manner. Mrs Brunton giggled. Then he held out the wilting posy. ‘Thank you. Wild flowers are my favourite,’ said Mrs Brunton graciously.

Evie quickly took them from her mother. ‘They look as though they need a drink,’ she said, keen to escape, even for a few moments. She ran into the kitchen, steamy from the vegetables boiling on the stove, opened a window and leaned her forehead against it. This was going to be a nightmare. When she came back through, Bernard was talking loudly, waving a glass of sherry around as he spoke. ‘I didn’t actually see active service,’ he was saying, ‘you see, luckily for me war ended while I was still in training.’ ‘I see,’ said Mr Brunton. ‘It feels awkward sometimes,’ confessed Bernard. ‘What, not getting maimed, gassed or killed?’ asked Mr Brunton helpfully. ‘I suppose I feel as if I didn’t really do my bit.’ ‘Well, I suppose you didn’t. Is dinner ready, dear?’

They moved from the parlour into the dining room. As they made the short silent walk from one room to the other, Bernard spied a piano across the hallway. ‘Do you play?’ he asked Mrs Brunton. ‘A little,’ said Mrs Brunton and she giggled again. The table was set with their best china and cutlery. Evie thought it looked very old-fashioned. Bernard sat opposite her and beside Mrs Brunton. As one, the Bruntons released their napkins from their rings, unfolded them and put them on their laps. Bernard ignored his. Between the grapefruit starter and the roast chicken, it rolled sadly onto the floor. The conversation improved over dinner: Mrs Brunton asked about London and Bernard was full of stories about people he knew and she had heard of. Evie picked at her chicken wing. Despite snubbing his napkin, Bernard had decent table manners. He managed to polish off his chicken, peas and roast potatoes without talking with his mouth full, spitting or elbowing Evie’s mother. This was silently noted by all three Bruntons. After the main course, Evie sprang up, cleared the plates and brought in the jam roly-poly.

The pudding was not one of Mrs Brunton’s best. The sponge had dried up, taking most of the jam with it, and the whole thing tasted rather rubbery. The covering of custard did little to disguise the disappointment of what lay beneath. Bernard gallantly pushed his helping around the plate and Mrs Brunton noticed. ‘I’m sorry about the pudding,’ she mumbled. ‘Mais Madame,’ replied Bernard, reverting to the French of earlier, ‘Votre cuisine est magnifique!’ ‘I beg your pardon, sir?’ Mr Brunton spoke fluent French. ‘I feel a song coming on!’ cried Bernard. As Evie choked on the last of her roly-poly, he jumped up and nimbly hopped over to the piano room opposite, leaving the door open. He settled himself on the piano stool and started to compose a ballad for his hostess.

The grapefruit was divine, the chicken was sublime, So who cares if the dessert is just a little tough? Yes, just a little rough, at least it’s not as dry as a desert. The reluctant audience could hear Bernard loud and clear, but they could only catch glimpses of him smiling at them as he swayed backwards and forwards, coming in and out of view from behind the doorframe, singing his heart out. Mrs Brunton looked confused and embarrassed; an expressionless Mr Brunton took the opportunity to stretch his neck, backwards and forwards, this way and that. Evie thought she might die of excruciation, wished she could, but she would first murder Bernard.

Sunday 12 May 2019

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for House of Skin, please check out the other stops as we all offer different content.

About the author:

Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forestand a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012." The LibraryJournal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin,"reminiscent of ShirleyJackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story" Since then Jonathan's work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith,and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species,and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz's Shadow Side. His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August2015-September2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal,and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim. Jonathan's primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children,and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Janz at www.jonathanjanz.com.

House of SkinHouse of Skin by Jonathan Janz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 312

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

All it needs to live again is fresh blood!

Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.

Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate—and Annabel—have in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?

My Review

When Paul Carver inherits the estate of Watermere he is set for life, estate, money and finally the chance to write the book he has always wanted and escape his mundane life. A family he knew nothing about, his uncle Myles now dead everything is his. The book will be written,, the dead won't rest and Paul will find out why his family was so hated in this wee town.

If you think back to old school horror, the black and white movies on at the weekend in the 80s, hammer horror, haunted houses with eerie back stories you get the feel for House of Skin. We have a duo timeline, current day with Paul and the past with his uncle and the beautiful Annabel. Coveted by many, she is stunning, beautiful a force to be reckoned with, fierce, dark and deadly, Watermere was Annabel's home and Annabel isn't ready to let go.

There is a lot of spooky hair raising scenes, some subtle and as the book progresses the levels of chilling darkness rise. There is also a lot of sex, sexual undertones, obsession, haunting, abuse, some really dark elements of humanity. I think fans of horror will eat this up especially if you like books combined with sex, flips in and out of duo timelines and a building tension, 3.5/5 for me. I have read this author before and will read him again. I think a prequel to this book would be epic and have reached out to the author about it. I think there is so much of this, the past, that would be amazing to explore and uncover it would give readers tons of insight into these characters, I so hope he pens it, fingers crossed.

View all my reviews

Thursday 9 May 2019

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash

Amazing GraceAmazing Grace by Kim Nash
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 257

Publisher - Hera Books

Source - NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary - and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she's a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks…

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

My Review

Meet Grace, working single mum to Archie and focusing on life getting back to "normal" after separating from husband Mark. Moving house, getting her ducks together and keeping focused on her boy and dog. Thankfully best friend Monica is on hand to help Grace focus on her, a new look, dipping back into the world of dating we follow Grace on a journey of self discovery and personal growth. In among all of this we hear wee snippets from Grace's mum who passed away but is overseeing Grace's life/struggles/choices/disasters and journey.

This is a debut although it really doesn't read like one. Grace is one of those characters I think any reader can relate to, we all have those self doubts, that moron ex, grief, loss and if we are lucky a few good eggs in our lives. This book draws you into Grace's world, everything that is important to her and the importance of including our own happiness in the things that are important to us.

There are some laugh out loud moments, oh how I cringed for her but did howl, bless Grace she is a wee chop. Family is everything to her and this allows for her ex husband to maximize his manipulative deplorable behaviour, I honestly wanted to smash his melt in at a few points. The passages from Grace's mother, for anyone who has lost a parent will struggle to get through some of them with a dry eye. Even for those lucky enough to still have their parents I think the passages are written so well you would need a heart of stone not to be touched.

The book takes you on a bit of a rollercoaster ride, infused with laugh out loud feel good with more than a few tender moments to kick you in the feels. Grace is a very human character and some of her choices/thought processes will resonate with some readers and others shouting no guuuuuuuurl. A fab step into the world of writing and I look forward to see what Nash will be bringing next, 4/5 for me this time.

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Wednesday 8 May 2019

May Giveaway is now live

I love a wee giveaway and have been ordering different things for comps so this is a wee collective giveaway. Please note, miss paws is NOT part of the giveaway she just looks to good to not be in a piccy! A few people asked why I bother doing one every month and doesn't it cost (as I often do worldwide and postage is getting higher every year!). I do it because for me it is a wee thank you to the people who read my reviews, who buy books based on my recommendations, who message and gab with me across the platforms. I LOVE books, I love gabbing about books and even after eight years folk take the time to read what I write. I know my reviews are not high brow and filled with *gasps* or OMGS, I always write for me (I started to keep track of all the books I read and it grew from there) so it is lovely that folk actually listen/enjoy my wee ramblings.

So, what is up for grabs, as pictured.......

A wee travel vanity case, a sleep mask, a wee cat bookmark and one of those thumb page open holders.

Open worldwide, as always use the Rafflecopter below for entries. Good luck you guys and thanks for the support, if you blog feel free to leave your url link with your comment and I will come visit. Have an awesome day xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 7 May 2019

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

A Stranger in the HouseA Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 305

Publisher - Penguin Books

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A domestic thriller packed full of secrets, and a twisty story that never stops—from the bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

He looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There's a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won't stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

My Review

She bolts out, has to get away, jumps into the car, speeds away and smashes into a pole, darkness. Oooft what an opening chapter! Karen wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the car accident, her husband Tom doesn't know what to think. It can't be his wife, she wouldn't speed, she doesn't drive recklessly. As the police get involved, Karen and Tom become strained, Karen turns more to her close friend and neighbour, Brigid. Tom isn't happy, Karen isn't happy, Brigid isn't happy - do they all have something to hide? The police are intent on uncovering what is really going on and if there are secrets - they will uncover them.

Ooooh it is no secret I really enjoy Lapena's writing, ever since I read The Couple Next Door, I sank it almost in one sitting in Amsterdam. She has a way of flinging you into the action with a belting opening to the book and then a tense, slow build up, tension, secrets and truths being teased out and making you trust no one and question everything!

Lapena also does shorter chapters which I love. If you work full time or run a busy house hold, or both, sometimes you don't get to sit and read lots, with wee chapters you can dip in and out. You also end up late up at night as one chapter turns into just one more and repeat.

The characters aren't always likeable, sometimes you don't even know right off why but they hook you, pull you in and you just HAVE to know where it is going. I find these books capture the readers attention quickly and you struggle to put the book down, 4.5/5 for me this time. I need to see if there are others by this author I haven't read and look forward to her next!

View all my reviews

Saturday 4 May 2019

Bad Mommy Stay Mommy by Elisabeth Horan Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Bad Mommy Stay Mommy by author Elisabeth Horan, please check out the other stops on the tour as we all offer different content.

About the book


Elisabeth Horan was in the grip of postpartum depression after the birth of her second son, 'red and writhing a salamander underfoot'. In this collection, Elisabeth finds the courage to survive. Uplifting, guttural: Horan leaves her reader roaring for more.

Buy link from Amazon, Click HERE

About the author

Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain - especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. Elisabeth is honored to serve as Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, and is Co-Owner of Animal Heart Press. She recently earned her MFA from Lindenwood University and received a 2018 Best of the Net Nomination from Midnight Lane Boutique, and a 2018 Pushcart Prize Nomination from Cease Cows.

Elisabeth lives in rural Vermont with her husband and two young sons. When not being poet, she works as a secretary and loves riding horses & dancing the salsa--- Follow her on Twitter @ehoranpoet & ehoranpoet.com

For my stop on the tour, I have a sample poem from the book, enjoy.

Stay Mommy

I have walked through low valleys

with the shadow of death as my ally.

I have met what might take me across.

I did fear the evil -

deep down in my toes.

It smelt like charred bones;

smoky and rancid as burnt pig nose.

I felt the close breath of its chant in my ear:

“Come on, come on”, I’ll show you the fear,

tickling my throat with its

white, bristling whiskers.

I felt its relentless pull on my ankles

dragging me under, swirling eddies of rancor,

drowning in the rain

of riptide currents in my brain.

Sleep by C L Taylor Blog Tour

Hey you guys, today is my stop on the blog tour.

It is a big blog tour for this one, Sleep by C L Taylor. In fact so much so we need two posters to cover all the bloggers taking part, please check all the stops as we all offer different content!

SleepSleep by C.L. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 368

Publisher - Avon Books

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

My Review

After an accident that changes her life, Anna escapes to an island in Scotland called Rum, to work in a wee hotel. Unable to sleep and sure someone had been stalking her a physically demanding job away from home is just what she needs. But someone is stalking Anna and no matter where Anna goes she will be followed....

The opening chapter grabs you from the very beginning, Anna the main character has written a letter "If you're reading this then I am no longer alive." Ooft what an opening, we see Anna in the lead up to the accident and the immediate after. Once she gets to Rum we have seven new guests, people as always have secrets but on the island we have a killer and Anna isn't safe!

So the opening chapter packs a punch and then starts to build up a picture of Anna and the eerie creepy atmosphere starts. Anna has to deal with guilt, lack of sleep, overhaul of life as she knew it and once you hit the hotel you know something is coming but what and who? We visit the family of those involved in the incident that changed everything for Anna and I was like an episode of murder she wrote, that's the killer, no that one, no that one.

I do enjoy a book that keeps you guessing and gives you plenty of suspects. Taylor has a knack for sucking the reader in and building up the fear and suspense, keeping a beady eye to have your AH HA moment, I suck and never work out the bad guy though. I really enjoy this authors writing and think with so many books out it is hard to offer something new, fresh and a page turner, I think Taylor nails it, 4/5 for me this time.

View all my reviews

Wednesday 1 May 2019

Chris Carter at Waterstones

The event was sold out and most of us got there before the area opened.

I took my wee reusable cup as I am trying to be good with recycling. I don't often drink hot drinks but when I do I have this and my fav colour, purple.

Hunting Evil is book 10 in the series and out to buy tomorrow.

What a nice down to earth guy.

He spoke about what he did for jobs and how he came upon being an author.

He was very humble and honest about his journey, after chatting about his career in crime, dealing with police and helping catch criminals, the effect that has on you working day in and out with the worst aspects of humanity. Then he went for a career change and into music and his band days, joking that way he would get the girls. He then moved onto how writing started for him by penning a dream, folk reading it, him doing more and not really believing it was good enough. Sending out three chapters and after four days getting word back to send more and maybe this was actually happening, then another few days and asked to send the rest of the book. The rest is history!

He was so animated and chatty, we didn't even get to the book lmao, he just gabbed away about his life and journey to being an author. What happened after and then it was opened up to questions. When the host realised we hadn't talked about the book we all laughed but don't think anyone would have changed anything. He was so engaging, and we all chuckled when after the first two questions he had to get her to translate as the thick Glaswegian accents were a bit much for him. I LOVED Sharons question (from A Chapter in my Life) "Does writing satisfy your inner serial killer?" absolutely brilliant.

Then after that up for book singings.

How fab is his leather jacket. As he says you can tell he likes rock!

The queue was huge for getting books signed, everyone wanted a wee gab, shame he didn't go to the pub afterwards but I think he had more travelling to do and maybe just exhausted. Fantastic night, could have listened to him go on and on!

Book Soulmates

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