Wednesday 27 October 2021

Faithless by Hunter Shea

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Faithless by author Hunter Shea, organised by Random Things Tours.

About the author

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot was real. He’s the author of over 17 books, including 'The Jersey Devil'and 'We Are Always Watching'. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum.

Faithless is available to buy now, treebook or ebook - click HERE for Amazon UK. For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

FaithlessFaithless by Hunter Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3.5 days

Pages - 256

Publisher - FlameTreePress

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood behind, he retreats to his aunt's empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion. But he's not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose.

My Review

Aw man poor Father Raul, horrendous drive home in the rain, car trouble, on the phone to his wife and kids when he hears them brutally attacked. Sprints for home, car abandoned, it is too late and life for Raul will never be the same. Lost faith, lost the will to live he heads to his aunt's farmhouse on a mission of self destruction. In a haze of booze, self pity and medication Raul starts to notice things happening in the house. He can't blame his new house crasher, a cat that seems to know the place well but he can't remember his aunt having one. Things start to go "bump in the night" which you could blame on the drink/drugs.......until he starts to hear his family. Why would they follow him to the farm and what do they want from him?

I feel so so sorry for Raul, hearing your family being killed on the phone and being able to do nothing about it. That would break anyone but a man of the cloth, ooft. The story starts with the murder then we have a descent into addiction/oblivion, loss of reality and then the presence of his loved ones. On one hand you would be happy to know they are there but also freaked out especially being Raul, a priest so devout then losing all faith. Poor guy is emotionally wrought, then torn over the thought he failed them, he is a bit of a wee scone.

The book builds up slowly, setting the scene, a wee character here and there and just when you think you have it worked out Shea yanks the rug. It is different and the pace changes, it has its spooky moments, tension, shady characters and no surprised but I LOVED the cat!

I am struggling to read just now, concentration is all over the place but short chapters and a story that took me out of my own woes and into Raul's horror, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday 26 October 2021

Thunder on the Moor by Andrea Matthews Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for the final stop for book, Thunder on the Moor by Andrea Matthews.

Twitter handles for the author and tour organiser.




Author Bio Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

Thunder On The Moor (Thunder On The Moor, #1)Thunder On The Moor by Andrea Matthews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2.5 days

Pages - 476

Publisher -

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Maggie Armstrong grew up enchanted by her father’s tales of blood feuds and border raids. In fact, she could have easily fallen for the man portrayed in one particular image in his portrait collection. Yet when her father reveals he was himself an infamous Border reiver, she finds it a bit far-fetched—to say the least—especially when he announces his plans to return to his sixteenth century Scottish home with her in tow.

Suspecting it’s just his way of getting her to accompany him on yet another archaeological dig, Maggie agrees to the expedition, only to find herself transported four hundred and fifty years into the past. Though a bit disoriented at first, she discovers her father’s world to be every bit as exciting as his stories, particularly when she’s introduced to Ian Rutherford, the charming son of a neighboring laird. However, when her uncle announces her betrothal to Ian, Maggie’s twentieth-century sensibilities are outraged. She hardly even knows the man. But a refusal of his affections could ignite a blood feud.

Maggie’s worlds are colliding. Though she’s found the family she always wanted, the sixteenth century is a dangerous place. Betrayal, treachery, and a tragic murder have her questioning whether she should remain or try to make her way back to her own time.

To make matters worse, tensions escalate when she stumbles across Bonnie Will Foster, the dashing young man in her father’s portrait collection, only to learn he is a dreaded Englishman. But could he be the hero she’s always dreamed him to be? Or will his need for revenge against Ian shatter more than her heart?

My Review

Maggie is a modern day girl, from her time but her da, Robert, is from the sixteeth century, I hear you "whaaaaaaat?" Her "uncle" Eddie met her dad when he time travelled twenty five years ago and brought him to our time. Now they have they chance to go back to the sixteenth, Maggie thinks it is a joke, time travel isn't real. The four, Robert, Eddie, Maggie and her bestie Dylan, travel back to Robert's time, clan and we enter a very authentic time/trials and auld rivalry between Scottish and English.

I don't overly love historical fiction (although as I get older I am finding I am liking it or maybe just choosing ones more relevant to my tastes) but this historical romance with a slash of time travel. The lingo, the issues of that time, betrothals, promises made by tribes, wars, the Border Reivers and at the end of the book a glossary of the terms used and what they mean.

Maggie is a plucky character, she is obviously used to the freedoms women of our time have so having to go back to such a different way of life was really interesting. Imagine hearing centuries old, falling in love with characters and then finding yourself actually living in that time, facing/meeting/arguing with them. I thought that was really cleverly done by the author and enjoyed the interactions with Maggie and the "enemies". As of that time period there is a lot of brutality, murder, women being used/hurt by men, promised into marriage for the sakes of their clans rather than love.

Such a different way of life, I loved how head strong Maggie was at times and other times I wanted to shake her, look what is right infront of you. Engaging, shocking, emotive, family, love, lies, relationships, so so many themes covered. Don't be put off by the time travel if it isn't something you would normally read - it really only comes into it for the transport of that time period really. I thought this was really different to a lot of the books I have read (of which there are many!) and I really enjoyed it. 4/5 for me this time, I would absolutely read this author again, this is her debut and I think possibly book one in a series, I would love to read more about these characters!

Out to buy NOW, treebook and ebook, click HERE from AMAZON UK.

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Saturday 23 October 2021

October competition

Sorry it is later in the month, I always try and get things up at the start but as you know we are going through a lot of crap just now so just rolling with the days as they come.

So for this months competition what do we have? x1 brand new paperback copy of "Lost Solace" by author Karl Drinkwater. It is a signed copy and book one of a series.

You can find my review of Lost Solace by clicking HERE.

You are probably wondering what are all the bookmarks doing around the book? Well as if a signed copy of this fab book isn't enough you also get to choose x1 of the bookmarks shown. Please check all the photos as there are a few, a couple are slightly different on the other side. For example the scary lady from the shining, one side she is all monstery and the other she looks normal.

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below, please ensure you add your name & postal address incase you are the winner and which bookmark you would like if you win. x1 of any of the ones shown in the photos. Happy October you guys and apologies again the comp is later than usual. Open worldwide guys. xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Angel Falls by Tracey Sinclair

Angel Falls (Cassandra Bick Chronicles Book 3)Angel Falls by Tracey Sinclair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 2.5 days

Pages - 210

Publisher - Indie

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

It isn't easy to surprise Cassandra Bick. When you run a human-vampire dating agency, your colleague is a witch who is engaged to a shifter and your business partner is one of London's most powerful (and sexiest) vampires, there's no such thing as a normal day at the office.

But when a mysterious Dark Dates client brings a dire warning of a new threat to the city's supernatural community, Cass and her friends realise they are up against their deadliest foe yet – and that this time, the danger is far closer to home than they could ever have imagined.

Sexy, snarky and with more bite than a crypt full of vampires, Angel Falls is the latest in the Dark Dates: Cassandra Bick series.

My Review

If you haven't read the previous two, stop here and go check them out, this can be read as a standalone but I am going to mention something from the previous book so stop.

Okies good, so we left off with Laclos being saved by Cain stepping in and as a result Laclos is "off his nut" super charged on the best blood flowing through his veins. If you haven't read the previous and are still here, Laclos is a vampire, Cain is a warrior angel, Cassie has dating history with them both. Currently with Cain, Laclos is mr inappropriate and always talking in sexual innuendos to both Cassie and Cain- he loves winding Cain up. Anyway Laclos is killing vampire seniors left right and centre, he is out of control, Cain is recovering from the last book. Cassie is trying to sort out her dating business (mortals, vampires - she has a special dating service).

We see some of the players from the previous book(s) and some new faces. The banter, the attitudes, sex, danger, fighting, disasters and Cassie - the human with her gift, a sense that helps her deal with her supernatural clients and the insane scraps she finds herself in.

It is a busy book, unresolved issues from the previous book, storylines picking up from where we left them. Cassandra's love *triangle* if you will, although this isn't nearly as central an issue but ever present, she is a lucky girl.

If you like your books with vampires, angels, witches, shapeshifters and that is just some of the mysticals that feature. Sarcasm, sex, bantz, jealousy, relationships ooft the book, for being just over 200 odd pages, keeps on giving. I read book two three years ago and then hung off because I didn't have another after this. I have the next instalment waiting and it won't be three years (unless I find out it ends on a cliff hanger) lol, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday 19 October 2021

Love and Care by Shaun Deeney

Love & CareLove & Care by Shaun Deeney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 326

Publisher - Endeavor

Source - Vine

Blurb from Goodreads

Shaun is determined to put the past behind him. No longer brooding on his divorce, and with his two daughters grown up, he is making a fresh start in a new country. And hoping to find love one more time. Until the sudden death of his father changes everything.

With his mother in a care home, Shaun knows he has to make a choice: leave his mother there, or give up his new-found freedom to look after her himself in the home she once shared with his father.

Love and Care charts his first year caring for his mother who has Parkinson's dementia; a woman he loves deeply but realises he hardly knows as he tries to connect with her through music, food and everyday joys. Can he face the challenges and prove the doubters wrong? And what will the decision mean for his chances of finding love?

Writing with raw honesty and humour, Shaun reflects on his own relationships - as a son, a father, and as a man. He explores our ability to keep hope alive, to forgive and be forgiven. Along the way he learns that letting go may just be the most valuable lesson in love.

Framed by the changing seasons, Love and Care is a story of redemption, and a celebration of our capacity to love, in all its forms.

My Review

Thisis Shaun's very honest and open journey about his decision and experiences of taking care of his mother. She had been in a care home, when Sean's father passes he decided to move home and bring his mother back to where she knows. She has Parkinson's dementia, Shaun has never been a carer, everyone is a skeptic, this is his and his mother's journey.

This isn't like many of the books I have read from true story healthcare/memoir type stories, whilst it does address the caring aspect there is a lot that does not. We follow Shaun through his decision, how he goes about it and the obstacles he faces. Experiences with mum getting an infection, trying to get carers, getting the home ready however it also concentrates on Shaun. Shaun's journey, thoughts, feelings, past and present, doubts, feelings, trying to date whilst taking on his mother's care. Money worries, paperwork, his past relationship with his father and everything in between.

The book splits into the four seasons and the firsts looking after his mother. It is a very honest account, his concerns, failings, worries - it very much looks at Shaun and how much he takes on, how being a carer is a huge undertaking. Financial, emotional, physical - if you have never taken on care for another adult who has needs it opens your eyes to how much it takes from you. It is very rewarding too and Shaun details some of the battles he wins on account of his mother, her needs and what he feels is right for her.

There are some touching moments and he has done an amazing thing for his mother, bringing her back to her own home. I think this is one of the first of these books where, I felt, it is more Shaun's story than his mothers. Most of the books I have read are focused on the patient, loved one, cared for individual, it was different and interesting to see the person behind the loved/cared for one.

It is like a diary, not as in written like a diary although it is written in first person, more I mean it is an outpouring from Shaun, of his journey, the caring journey through the eyes of the carer, 3.5/5 for me.

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Thursday 14 October 2021

The Sanitorium by Sarah Pearse

The Sanatorium (Detective Elin Warner, #1)The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - Bantam Press

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

You won’t want to leave. . . until you can’t.

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancĂ©e, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge–there’s something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in. . .

My Review

A sanatorium being transformed into a fabulous remote hotel, we open with the early stages of renovation and something dark happens, fast forward five years later to present day. The hotel is up and running and detective Elin Warner is on her way there with her o/h, invited by her brother, celebrating his engagement. Her relationship with her brother Isaac is strained to say the least, she is distrustful, suspicious and when Isaac's fiancé disappears things kick up a notch.

I feel like this would have had a book before this one, Elin has PTSD from an incident, she isn't sure she is going to go back. She is indecisive about moving forward in her relationship, there is a huge issue with her brother. The story does slowly tease out some of the details but I feel we could have done with a bit more on Elin's backstory. Maybe this will be revisited if this becomes a series? I dunno I just felt Elin was a bit hard to settle to. She does come to her own a bit once everything kicks off at the hotel.

The book does manage to keep a feeling of tension throughout, there is enough to keep you interested but I felt myself drifting a bit when reading this. To be fair to the author, I feel a lot of this was about me, we have a lot going on just now and my reading mojo is a bit off.

The story has a fair bit going for it, murder, stalking, unresolved family issues/dramas, relationship issues (more than a few), isolation, police investigation, it has a whole lot going on. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it, maybe a different time I would have received it better, 3/5 for me.

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Saturday 9 October 2021

The Housemaid by Sarah A. Denzil

The HousemaidThe Housemaid by Sarah A. Denzil
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 296

Publisher - Indie

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Housemaid wanted.
Skills required: Discretion, and the willingness to go the extra mile.

It seems like the perfect job. Great wages, accommodation provided, and all located within the walls of Highwood Hall, a stunning stately home owned by the Howard family. Not many little girls dream of becoming a maid, but this is an opportunity for me to get back on my feet. And for me to revisit my past...

But I soon realise I've made a mistake. The strict housekeeper, Mrs Huxley, watches my every move, emerging from the shadows when least expected. Lord Howard's son, Alex, takes an interest in me, and as a former addict, I find myself drawn to him because I know he's bad for me.

There's a general atmosphere of unease at Highwood Hall, from the narrow tunnels laced throughout the sprawling house, to the abandoned north wing, rumoured to be haunted. It's easy to imagine the secrets hidden within these walls, like the secrets I hold close.

On my first day, I receive a mysterious package. I open up the pretty gift box to find a miniature doll version of me trapped inside a dollhouse. In this scene I'm dead, lying in a pool of red paint at the bottom of the perfectly recreated staircase. Someone sent this threatening diorama to me, but who even knows I work at the hall? And what do they want?

I know only one truth: my perfect job is turning into my perfect nightmare.

My Review

This is my second read by this author, they couldn't be more different although both have creepy eerie vibes! Applying for the housemaid position in a rich affluent area the housemaid NEEDS this job. Getting over her own troubles, addictions she encounters the terrifying Mrs Huxley for her interview. If she scores the job she gets live in, good wages and who wouldn't want to work in Highwood Hall in Yorkshire. Mrs Huxley has worked there for a billion years, she is strict, cold and runs a tight ship, she will be the least of the new housemaids worries!

A dream job or so she thought but the housemaid has her own reasons for wanting to work there and not long after she receives a package that is clearly a threat but by who, why - noone knows her. As she learns the job more and more unsettling things happen and the reader sees what it is like to be "The Housemaid". She is nameless - it highlights just how bad (at times) the help are treated, confidants one moment, used/abused/unseen at others so I think this works well to show that and how something as small as using someone's name can be so big. We walk through the story with her in first person mode, from first day nerves to getting to know the family members, the other hired help. Forming relationships, learning the routines and then it starts getting weird/creepy.

Denzil has a great way of taking a normal situation, job, environment and bringing in the creep/eek. We all have secrets, some more than others, some worse than others and each character has something, a quirk, a secret, a need. I love when a book draws you in, dislikable characters, ones you root for and a story a bit like an onion, peeling "layers" before giving up its secrets. As I said this is my second by this author, it won't be my last, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday 5 October 2021

The Score by Kerry Kaya

The Score: A gritty, gripping gangland thriller from Kerry Kaya for 2021The Score: A gritty, gripping gangland thriller from Kerry Kaya for 2021 by Kerry Kaya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 394

Publisher - Boldwood Books

Source - NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Twenty years ago, Fletch avenged the gangland killing of his younger brother, Spencer and accepted his guilt. But his actions meant he had to leave his precious children, Austin and Kitty to fend for themselves. He thought they would be looked after...

Served his time…

Now a free man, Fletch returns to find his family in chaos, devastated by his prolonged incarceration. Kit is married to notorious gangster Rosco Taylor, while Austin seems hell bent on doing everything he can to create a turf war.

Fletch knows he has to do something to get his kids under control, but he also knows that the seeds of this disaster were planted long ago by his own reckless actions.

Now Fletch is back and it’s time to settle the score.

My Review

I have loved gangland/gangster type books for years but have never read Kaya before, until this one. I am currently struggling with my reading mojo, personal life stuff, but this managed to yank me out for a bit. Fletch done his crime (avenged his wee brother) and now he is out, he left behind his mrs and two young kids, a boy and a girl. A twenty year stretch is a long time but he left plenty to ensure his family would be set. His girl moved on and his kids grew up, Fletch has no idea what has went down in his absence and not everyone is happy Fletch is out.

Oooft if you don't like swearing, violence and shady characters (what do you expect from gangland fiction) then these type of books aren't for you. We open with a brutal torture and quickly get a feel for the characters. Kit and Austin, Fletch's grown up kids are in the life Fletch wanted them to be clear of. His best mate Stevie has kept so much from him, protected him, and now Fletch is out he is finding out just how deep in the life his "kids" are.

Family drama, drugs, murder, violence, love, lies - add a bit of spice - welcome to "The Score". There is a lot of family drama, Kit and Austin react very differently to their dad being out, there are some very shady characters and the drama keeps on coming.

I really needed something like this, just pure escapism from my life into others. Underworld, drugs, shade, like walking into a different world. Gritty, dangerous, noone is safe, everyone is out for themselves in this type of world but for some, family is everything, 4.5/5 for me. This was my first dance with this author, it won't be my last, will defo be checking out her back catalogue. The Score is out the 28th of this month but you can pre-order on Amazon UK now.

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Saturday 2 October 2021

Off Season by Jack Ketchum

Off Season (Dead River, #1)Off Season by Jack Ketchum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 308

Publisher - 47 North

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River—off season—awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall...

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tired old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface...and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive.

My Review

Think Wrong Turn meets The Hill Have Eyes meets House of 1000 Corpses, a pinch of each and you get the vibes for Off Season. This is NOT for the faint hearted or easily offended and this version is "The Author's Uncut, Uncensored Version so if you have read the other version this has more bokey OMGness. Carla has rented a wee cabin, out the way of town on a hill next to a beach type town, off season. Her sister, lover and pals are coming up to join her, she has no idea she i being watched by savage killers, killers who murder for joy, pleasure and food!

The opening chapter gives a taster for what is coming, a women is brutalised by weans of this group and it really kicks off from there. We get to know the city folk who come to the cabin for some fun and then all hell breaks loose and it is just murder, carnage, blood drenching, stomach turning horror.

The killers are actual savages, they live in the wild, other living beings are for their use, pleasure, consumption. The descriptions are graphic, gorey and manky in some parts, again think of the three movies I mentioned and you know what you are in for. Torture, abuse (sexual and the violent), animal abuse/deaths, human torture, I think the book hits just about everything on the list.

For the other movies I wanted a police presence and or more if they were in it, this book offers a bit of that. This is only my second book by this author, again he is not for the faint hearted from what I have read. If you like your horror shocking, bloody, dodgy depraved killers ooft this is your book. I grew up on horror but even parts of this made me wince, he paints very vivid pictures, probably best not to eat whilst reading this one, 4/5 for me.

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