Thursday, 1 December 2022

A Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young, for my stop I have my review, non spoiler as always, enjoy.

About the author:

Glenda Young credits her local library in the village of Ryhope, where she grew up, for giving her a love of books. She still lives close by in Sunderland and often gets her ideas for her stories on long bike rides along the coast. A life-long fan of Coronation Street, she runs two hugely popular fan websites.

Social Media Links

For updates on what Glenda is working on, visit her website and to find out more find her on Facebook/GlendaYoungAuthor and Twitter @flaming_nora.

Buy links for the book (out now) Amazon UK click HERE or Amazon US click HERE.

A Mother's Christmas WishA Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 401

Publisher - Headline

Source - Review book

Blurb from Back cover

"I hope this Christmas is better than last year's."

Following a scandalous affair, wayward Emma Devaney is sent in disgrace from her home in Ireland to Ryhope, where she will live with her widowed aunt, Bessie Brogan, and help run her pub. Bessie is kind but firm, and at first Emma rebels against her lack of freedom. Struggling to fit in, she turns to the wrong person for comfort, and becomes pregnant.

Accepting she must embrace her new life for the sake of her baby, Emma pours her energy into making the pub thrive and helping heal the fractured relationship between Bessie and her daughters. She catches the attention of Robert, a gruff but sincere farmer, who means to win her heart.

As December approaches, thankful for the home and acceptance she's found, Emma is determined to bring not just her family, but the whole Ryhope community, together to celebrate - and to make one very special mother's Christmas dreams come true.

My Review

Set in 1923 lordy lord Emma is a bit of a riot, totally wild. Living in a small town with her mum (her dad ran off a while back causing local tongues wagging), a proud lady Emma does one of the worst things ever. Not only caught frolicking in a secret relationship but the person ooft huge scandal. Shipped off to her aunt even her trip and arrival there is shocking and sets tongues wagging. She is not like a lady of her time, she has fire, attitude and a longing for adventure!

The book covers a lot of issues and I have to be honest I wasn't a huge Emma fan to begin with. Knowing she left her mum and village in a scandal you think she would be super set on making a good impression and wow is her entrance to her aunts anything but. That being said I think the author did a pretty good job because we seem her go on a pretty big personal journey. She still remains spikey and noones doormat however she is very focused on family and doing the right thing.

The book has some shady characters, people taking advantage, people struggling with grief, family troubles, money troubles but it also deals with community, love, redemption, health, friendship. I loved Bessie and I think she stole the show, despite Emma being the forefront main character I felt Bessie was right up there with her, she is such a good egg. Very unjudgmental, warm, mothering, supportive but also stubborn and doesn't suffer fools. It was nice to see strong women for the time period and doing things like running a bar, dealing with the things that come with it. Emma really shone in parts too, being sent there by her mum was the making of them all and I loved the family themes that ran strongly throughout. This was my first book by Young, it won't be my last. Emotive, moving, engaging and characters you either love or hate, 4.5/5 for me!

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Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Amazon Voucher x1 £5 Comp now live

It is nice to bring Princess Trixie, the original blogger *helper* for our giveaway post.

Up for grabs is x1 £5 Amazon Voucher. UK only as Amazon does not allow me to gift outside my own country. Don't worry we will be having another giveaway open to all but this is UK ONLY.

Working with Luna is always eventful, she is either super cute and pliable or full of beans. Today she was bouncing all over the couch.

Sometimes she is really good, others well lets just say it takes more than a few takes lmao.

Or more than a few :P

But we get there in the end.

To enter, as always, use the Rafflecopter, the more entries you complete the more chances you have.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vile Stars by Sera Milano

Vile StarsVile Stars by Sera Milano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - Electric Monkey

Source - Vine & then bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads


This is a different kind of love story.

17-year-old Luka isn't looking for love. She's trying to piece her life back together after a heartbreaking loss. But when she meets the gorgeous and charismatic Cosmo under a meteor shower at the Greenwich Observatory, it feels like destiny has played a hand. Surely theirs is a love written in the stars.

But Cosmo isn't what he seems, using Luka's love for him to slowly take control of her life. As the pandemic starts to make headlines and lockdown sets in, she is trapped emotionally and physically in a coercive relationship. Luka's friends and brother can see what's happening, but struggle to reach her. Something will have to be sacrificed so Luka can set herself free - but what will be left of her when she does?

Luka's story is told from many points of view: through her letters, and through the voices of her brother, Alec, his boyfriend Theo and Luka's best friend, Roisin. Each of them holds a fragment of the story - it's time to put it all together.

My Review

I don't know what I was expecting with this one, when I first got it and seen the trigger warnings I was looking after my dad so put it aside. The parental loss isn't a huge central theme but relevant to the characters and there are many emotive issues. The characters are young, taking exams age and a tight group, best friends Luka (main character) & Roisin, Luka's brother Alec and his boyfriend Theo. Luka and Alec lost their mother & live with their step dad and wee sister, Cosmo is lost, writing letters to her mum and leaving them at the grave. Enter Cosmo, a chance encounter and he sweeps Luka off her feet and that folks is when everything starts to change and become dark.

So I think this may be my first book with pronouns and a trans character and whilst Luka is central Theo and the issues surrounding them is hugely important and relevant. Cosmo is a piece of work, I haven't loathed a character like this in a while. Luka is in the flows of grief and dealing with loss, heartache and trying to find herself so when Cosmo comes along we see red flags and vile traits that Luka is blinded to.

Despite the characters being young the amount of adult themes and issues are relatable across the board. The toxicity of the relationship was really uncomfortable to read but so important and well done, homophobia, transphobic, isolation, coercion and you have friendships, relationships, grief, loss, coping or rather trying to.

This is my first time reading this author, I will absolutely check out their other works, 4/5 for me.

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Sunday, 27 November 2022

Light as a Feather by Zoe Aarsen

Light as a Feather (Light as a Feather, #1)Light as a Feather by Zoe Aarsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 385

Publisher -

Source - I think this was a competition win


Riverdale meets Final Destination in this fast-paced and deliciously creepy novel about an innocent game that turns deadly at a high school sleepover.

It was supposed to be a game…

Junior year is shaping up to be the best of McKenna Brady’s life. After a transformative summer, McKenna is welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High, led by the gorgeous Olivia Richmond. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up.

But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover. Violet, the mysterious new girl in town, suggests the girls play a game during which Violet makes up elaborate, creepily specific stories about the violent ways the friends will die. Though it unsettles McKenna, it all seems harmless at the time.

Until a week later, when Olivia dies…exactly as Violet predicted.

As Violet rises to popularity and steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna becomes convinced Olivia’s death wasn’t just a coincidence, especially when a ghost haunting her bedroom keeps leaving clues that point to Violet. With the help of her cute neighbor, Trey, McKenna pledges to get to the bottom of Violet’s secrets and true intentions before it’s too late. Because it’s only a matter of time before more lives are lost.

My Review

So how many times when you were younger did you engage in games at a stay over? For us we used to play spirits, in this book it is almost like that but huge vibes from The Craft movie. The girls are a mixed bunch Olivia is the popular girl, money, location, beauty, McKenna has kind of just made it back into the fold and new girl who is quite quiet/reserved Violet has also just made it in. The game is simple, one lies on the ground, the others around, fingers underneath and someone, Violet, leads and tells them one by one in graphic detail a story about how they will die. Spooky and creepy but it is just a game right? Until one of the stories comes true, lots of questions, was it a coincidence, did Violet somehow know? Is the rest of the stories going to happen?

So this is absolutely young adult, teen with horror type vibes going through. So there is a lot of the angst and issues that are important to the youngsters, having a date for prom, getting judged for not, mean girl vibes within the popular clique and then the spooky story/game. McKenna has the cute guy next door neighbour but he is thought to be weird so much as McKenna does like him their friendship is under the radar.

The book is a little bit all over the place as we have McKenna liking the brother of cool girl Olivia, the secret friendship with mchottie next door. Then the turn of the supernatural now I loved that and you would absolutely be diving into where did she actually come from, whats her history, how did this happen, how can her story be so close to what happens. I did love that, some of the bitchy and teen behaviour/choices did annoy me but I think it reflects of the age group of those involved (for the most part to be fair).

I wasn't a huge lover of how we rounded up and I get that there are more books in the series so the need for it and I will most likely read them because I am nosey and want to know. Some bits riveting, some were just ok and I was annoyed at a few bits but the book kept me engaged a good bit. Apparently there is a tv show too so think I will have a nosey at that, absolutely going to rewatch the craft movie, 3.5/5 for me.

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Sunday, 20 November 2022

Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino

Silent Parade (Detective Galileo, #4)Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Abacus

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Detective Galileo, Keigo Higashino’s best loved character from The Devotion of Suspect X, returns in a complex and challenging mystery—several murders, decades apart, with no solid evidence.

A popular young girl disappears without a trace, her skeletal remains discovered three years later in the ashes of a burned out house. There’s a suspect and compelling circumstantial evidence of his guilt, but no concrete proof. When he isn’t indicted, he returns to mock the girl’s family. And this isn’t the first time he’s been suspected of the murder of a young girl, nearly twenty years ago he was tried and released due to lack of evidence. Chief Inspector Kusanagi of the Homicide Division of the Tokyo Police worked both cases.

The neighborhood in which the murdered girl lived is famous for an annual street festival, featuring a parade with entries from around Tokyo and Japan. During the parade, the suspected killer dies unexpectedly. His death is suspiciously convenient but the people with all the best motives have rock solid alibis. CI Kusanagi turns once again to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manabu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, to help solve the string of impossible to prove murders.

My Review

So this is book four in a series, I haven't read the others and started here, I think reading the earlier books may well have given me a bit more connection to the characters. Imagine your beloved daughter going missing and her remains found a few years later in a house fire. Everyone knows the killer and their guilty but they get off because of evidence issues. What is worse is it isn't the first time he has been connected to something like this and also went free then. If all of that isn't bad enough the arrogance of the killer to be around and taunt the family with his presence.

So the book splits a bit, we have the family of the victim, hard working, family orientated and very loved in their community. The police investigated, the guy visiting the family at their workplace and just being a very smart but lacking any kind of morality, hate him! A big festival happens locally and what do you know the bad guy dies under suspicious circumstances. The police are looking into it and with his connection to the local girls death the suspects are plentiful.

It is a busy book and I liked the professor helping out with the investigation, unofficially of course. There are a fair few players and despite us jumping around them it wasn't overly difficult to follow. I liked it I didn't love it, not sure if that would have changed had I read the earlier books. This was my first time reading this author, I would read them again, 3/5 for me this time.

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Friday, 18 November 2022

The Poison Machine by Robert J Lloyd Blog Tour

Today is my stop, closing the blog tour for "The Poison Machine" by Robert J Lloyd.

The book is available to buy now, treebook and ebook, click HERE for the link to Amazon.

About the Author: (from Amazon)

I grew up in the London suburbs, south of the river, and then in Sheffield.

At school I wanted to be an artist, thinking I was going to be the next great English painter. I did a BA degree in Fine Art, in Coventry, but moved more into art theory, ideas, and writing.

My MA thesis was on Robert Hooke and the ‘New Philosophy’, detailing his work as Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society, and as architect of the new London after the Fire. The ideas and characters I came across when researching him stayed with me; years of tinkering resulted in The Bloodless Boy and its sequel The Clockwork Assassins.

I'm represented by Gaia Banks at Sheil Land Associates literary agency. Many thanks are due to Gaia, who has championed both books with an astonishing energy and attention to detail.

I'm married, with three splendid children and a very lovely wife, and I live in the Brecon Beacons.

Follow me on Twitter as @robjlloyd.

On Facebook, I'm Robert J Lloyd.

I would love to hear from you if you've read all - or part - of the books. Reviews would be very welcome, too!

The Poison Machine (Hunt & Hooke, #2)The Poison Machine by Robert J. Lloyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 6 days

Pages - 464

Publisher - Melville House

Source - Arc

Blurb from Goodreads

Harry Hunt must go to Paris in search of a spy and imposter who has knowledge of a plot to kill the Queen of England in this thrilling and addictive sequel to The Bloodless Boy.

1679. A year has passed since the sensational attempt to murder King Charles II. London is still inflamed by fears of Catholic plots. Harry Hunt—estranged from his mentor Robert Hooke and no longer employed by the Royal Society—meets Sir Jonas Moore, the King’s Surveyor-General of the Board of Ordnance, in the remote and windswept marshes of Norfolk. There, workers draining the fenland have uncovered a skeleton.

Accompanied by his friend Colonel Fields, an old soldier for Parliament, and Hooke’s niece, Grace, Harry confirms Sir Jonas’s suspicion: the body is that of a dwarf, Captain Jeffrey Hudson, once famously given to Queen Henrietta Maria in a pie. During the Civil Wars, Hudson accompanied the Queen to France to sell the Royal Jewels to fund her husband’s army. He was sent home in disgrace after shooting a man in a duel.

But nobody knew Hudson was dead. Another man, working as a spy, has lived as him since his murder. Now, this impostor has disappeared, taking vital information with him. Sir Jonas orders Harry to find him.

With the help of clues left in a book, a flying man, and a crossdressing swordswoman, Harry’s search takes him to Paris, another city bedeviled by conspiracies and intrigues. He navigates its salons and libraries, and learns of a terrible plot against the current Queen of England, Catherine of Bragan├ža, and her gathering of Catholics in London. Assassins plan to poison them all.

My Review

This is book two in a series, you can absolutely read this as a standalone however there is backstory and happenings from books one that I think would enrich reading this so go get that book first! We are back with Harry, after an embarrassing encounter he is now away from his mentor and beloved society on a private case. His friend (previous soldier) and the lovely Grace will be accompanying him on their investigation, a body has been discovered, identity in question and a possible imposter to check out. Harry has his hands full and that is before getting onto tracking down a disappearance, there are murderers around, skullduggery and a plot afoot to take down the queen.

So first thing I am going to say historical fiction was never a first pick for me and plots that involve any kind of royalty doesn't tend to be a first pick for me. I read and really enjoyed the first book so was happy to read book two and see what is in store for Harry and co.

Harry is a very human character, he gets embarrassed, he knee jerk reacts but he is basically a decent guy and dedicated to his task(s) but he really makes some questionable decisions.

I do like reading about meetings/mentions of actual historical figures/times and meeting characters with relatable issues. For example Harry, he is a smart bloke but because he gets embarrassed he ends up going off on a different direction/job choice because of the slight he received. Or how he interacts with women and remains completely oblivious of his words/lack of actions when around or in relation to the woman he has long held a torch for.

The book has different story paths and we go along with Harry on his as well as getting insight into the shady bad guys and their dastardly plans, murder/robbery and darker still. King, Queen and all manners of important people are throughout the book as well as a stint in one of the jails, ooft I really felt for the person at that point. The author really paints a vivid picture of the horrific conditions and depending on your imagination, quite boak worthy.

I like Harry although not all his choices and I did feel for him quite a few times throughout the book, Grace too. I love how strong a character she is as often women in those time periods can be very wallflowerish, family/home orientated, focused only on a husband and being seen and not heard type. That isn't Grace nor a few of the females we come across in this one to be honest, I am all for it. 4/5 for me this time and I hope Lloyd is planning of bringing more out. As I said historical isn't my first pick by any stretch of the imagination although I have found myself reading a wee bit more of them as I get older however none of them are quite like these!

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Tuesday, 15 November 2022

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

The Amityville HorrorThe Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 315

Publisher - Bantam Books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 385

Publisher -

Source - I think this was a competition win

Blurb from Goodreads

28 Days of Terror in a House Possessed by Evil Spirits

In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their dream home, the same home where Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers and sisters just one year earlier.

The psychic phenomena that followed created the most terrifying experience the Lutz family had ever encountered, forcing them to flee the house in 28 days, convinced that it was possessed by evil spirits.

Their fantastic story, never before disclosed in full detail, makes for an unforgettable book with all the shocks and gripping suspense of The Exorcist, The Omen or Rosemary's Baby, but with one vital difference...the story is true.

My Review

I don't think there is anyone from my generation who doesn't know about this famous house/story. The house was a scene of horror anyway after a whole family minus the eldest son was murdered in their home, mum, dad and kids, Ronald Defoe junior was the oldest son and only survivor later convicted of the murders. The house was then bought at a steal price by the Lutz family who only lasted 28 days before fleeing in fear leaving all their belongings.

Amityville is thought to be one of the most haunted houses. Anson met with the Lutz and wrote this story based on their experiences. For me the fact it was a murder site of a whole family, how the Lutz report it affected them and what they experience makes it a bit more freaky.

The book also goes over the experiences from the priest from when he went into the house, how he was affected afterward and even when calling/reaching out to the Lutz by telephone. I think when religion is brought into it and affected as these individuals were it gives me the heebies.

The story is reported as true and there have been a few written about it and interviews with the Lutz, it is reported when asked Anson would never answer whether he believed it or not. The story also went on to have a few movies, also creepy (I haven't seen them all). Absolutely creepy whether you believe or not it is worth a read 4/5.

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Sunday, 6 November 2022

The Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

HostageHostage by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 3 days

Pages - 381

Publisher - Sphere

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

You can save hundreds of lives. Or the one that matters most.

A claustrophobic thriller set over twenty hours on one airplane flight, with the heart-stopping tension of The Last Flight and the wrenching emotional intensity of Room, Hostage takes us on board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.

Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina's assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.

It's twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.

My Review

Operator call, prologue and onto the chapters..... Ooft what an opening, we start with a call to the emergency services, one page with the caller and emergency operator dialogue and you are hooked because you NEED TO KNOW! We have short chapters which I mention every time I have them but I LOVE this generally in books and more so when my brain is mush and struggling to keep tabs.

The book flips between Mina (the airhostess), Adam (her husband) and passengers referred to by their seat number within the flight. The book jumps around between the viewpoints and perspectives as things are progressing. Now multiple characters can absolutely be distracting, hard to follow and not everyone's cup of tea. However with so much tension and the plane scenes are over the span of twenty hours you are already heart in your mouth because of the opening call.

The book has so much going on, so many issues intertwined as we know there is a hostage situation but the action going on outside with Mina's husband Adam and their little girl Sophia honestly it has plenty to keep you hooked. Marital issues, parental issues, everything that comes with a hostage/work/flight situation and some other curve balls you aren't expecting because you think it already has so much packed in. I have read one of Mackintosh's books prior to this and have another on the tbrm and will need to bump it up 4/5 for me.

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Friday, 28 October 2022

The Mother by Alex Kane

The MotherThe Mother by Alex Kane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages -

Publisher - Hera Books

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Being head of a family is what she knows best
A decade ago, Cara Fraser, wife to one of Glasgow’s most notorious gangsters, was left a widow after Kyle Fraser was slain on the city streets.

The intervening years haven’t been easy – not least as Kyle’s murder left her to bring up little Ryan and Sean alone.

Now, Ryan and Sean are adults, and honouring their father’s memory by rising up to become the top gangsters on the dark streets of Glasgow.

Cara’s kept her head down, but has spent the last few years vowing to take vengeance on the crime family who killed her beloved husband and left her children without a father.

Glasgow gangland is about to discover that a mother will do anything for her family… even murder.

My Review

The blurb focuses a lot on Cara Fraser and her sons, Ryan and Sean and whilst the latter part of the book they do come more to the front it is the Bryson's who feature as the main runners at the start. Angie Bryson & her husband Dale have their fingers in a lot of pies and Cara's husband Kyle and brother Ian work for the Brysons, distributing drugs primarily. Angie and Cara don't get on and Kyle and Ian have put their plans in motion to become the top dogs. The timeline splits between then and now when the Frasers have decided, again the time is right, the time is now.

There is a lot of rivalry, competitiveness as often there is in gangland type books, fights for power, actions and consequences, shady underhanded behaviour and of course some people will go to any levels for what they feel is due them. Revenge, pride, business, drugs, rivalry, family, murder and is it even a gangster stle book if we don't have betrayal.

There are quite a few relationship dynamics, some you are shaking your head at antics/choices and behaviours but in this lifestyle it is a different world. One characters behavior though I was almost screaming NOOOOOOOO what are you doing?!?!?!

I have read a few of Kane's books and have another couple on my tbrm, when you pick up the books you can get lost in a different world or chaos and danger just waiting for some consequence to their actions. Bad behaviour, shady choices and the old secrets can never remain in the past dun dun dun, 4/5 for me, a wee bit of build up setting the scene and then you are plunged right in! This is a standalone, if you like gangster/ganglands then this is for you - oh and it is set in Glasgow.

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Thursday, 27 October 2022

Genesis by Chris Carter

Genesis (Robert Hunter #12)Genesis by Chris Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 544

Publisher - Simon and Schuster

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A killing like no other.
A killer more twisted than he’s ever seen before.
A case that will test him to the limit.
Has Robert Hunter finally met his match?

‘Do you believe the Devil exists, Detective?’ the officer at the end of the line asks. ‘Because if you don’t . . . I’m sure you will once you get here.’

Robert Hunter is called to the most vicious crime scene he has ever attended. It is made even more disturbing when the autopsy reveals a poem, left by the killer, inside the body of their victim.

Soon, another body is found. The methods and signature of the murder differs, but the level of violence used suggests that the same person is behind both crimes. Hunter’s fears are confirmed when a second part of the poem is found.

But this discovery does more than just link the two killings – it suggests that this is the work of a serial murderer.

With no forensic evidence to go on, Robert Hunter must catch the most disciplined and systematic killer that he has ever encountered, someone who thrives on the victims' fear, and to whom death is a lesson that needs to be taught.

From #1 Sunday Times and multi-million copy bestselling author, Chris Carter, comes the most compelling and ruthless Robert Hunter thriller yet.

My Review

The opening chapter of this was so creepy I went my first time ever live on Tiktok (smbslt) as I was reading it home alone. The character comes home drunk after a night out and starts getting messages from her phone, asking how her night was then turning a little sinister. Then they send a wee video, well that was me, checked my front door and read it and the rest of the chapter on TT so I wasn't alone. Absolutely creeped me out and if you have read Carter before he has a knack for being creepy and bringing to life some seriously shady characters.

The killer is brutal, the victims are very different from each other and how they are killed yet Garcia and Hunter know they are related because of something the killer leaves at each scene. Not for the faint of heart or easily offended. The killer is cruel, sadistic, brutal and the murders are graphic and stomach turning.

The book also deals with a lot of triggering themes, there is a heads up at the start of the book and a page of contacts people who are struggling with mental health etc can access. If you haven't read the previous books you could start here but you miss a lot of the history and they are really good books so I would recommend going back.

Dragged in and hooked from the opening scene and the book doesn't drop pace. Despite some horrific and sensitive issues being dealt with I think Carter handles them well, we know he suffered a significant personal loss too and I think you can feel the emotion/sensitivity whilst still keeping his usual graphic/horrific killer/killings. I also think many will appreciate the page of contacts for people struggling, 4.5/5 for me and I look forward to the next one.

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Wednesday, 26 October 2022

N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Artic Airship Italia by Mark Piesing Blog Tour

OUT NOW click HERE to buy from AMAZON UK, available in ebook and treebook.

Today is my stop on the blog tour for N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Artic Airship Italia, for my stop I have my review

N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship ItaliaN-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia by Mark Piesing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3.5 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Mariner

Source - Review copy

Blurb (partial) from Goodreads

The riveting true story of the largest polar rescue mission in history: the desperate race to find the survivors of the glamorous Arctic airship Italia, which crashed near the North Pole in 1928.

Braiding together the gripping accounts of the survivors and their heroic rescuers, N-4 Down tells the unforgettable true story of what happened when the glamor and restless daring of the zeppelin age collided with the harsh reality of Earth’s extremes.

My Review

History isn't something I read a lot of although as I get older I find I am getting more drawn to programs/books. N-4 down is about one of the biggest rescue missions to happen but it isn't just about that. We learn about some of the history of Zepplin travel, luxury trips, the making and history of some of these magnificent and I find rather scary air travel.

The book centers mostly around Noble, his struggle to conquer the North pole, his achievements and shortcomings, his feud/rivalry with a once friend/colleague to now competitor and enemy if you like. The build up to Noble's journey to the North pole which ends in the airship coming down, the crew needing rescued, the horror whilst awaiting rescue and what plagues Noble afterwards because of the decision(s) he made.

I find the fascination with these airships and the North pole so so interesting, I would put the book down to Google or go on YouTube and look up what had been written. The book has been so so well researched and there are so many references and links the reader can go and check out. Some of the scenes are horrific and make you hold your breath when you envision/read what they went through, the temperatures and many brushes with death.

This is very different from the types of books I normally pick up but as I get older I find myself more interested in history and I would have neve been able to set foot on one of these, even the luxurious style ones, too feart. However they are incredibly interesting to read about, what they were capable of and their uses, 4/5 for me.

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Rock N Roll Nanny - Blog Tour

The book is out to buy now, from Amazon, click HERE.

For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

Rock N Roll NannyRock N Roll Nanny by Sally Arnold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 300

Publisher -

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Amazon

What’s it like to prepare Christmas lunch with Mick Jagger? To go clubbing with The Who’s crazy drummer Keith Moon? Or to deal with the WAGs in a band’s entourage?

In 1971, Sally Arnold takes a nannying job in Paris that will transform her life. Her charge is Mick Jagger’s daughter Jade and she is soon running more than bath-time… she is working for the giants of rock as the first woman tour manager in the business.

When Sally moves on to organising charity events, she has to manage other larger-than-life personalities such as Billy Connolly and Rowan Atkinson. Sally also handles famous names from Princess Diana and the Duke of Edinburgh, to Mikhail Gorbachev and Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.

How did Sally survive in this world of rock and roll?

My Review

Mett Sally Arnold, we hear about her younger years and her family history and it is quite an impressive history with impressive wealth and contributions. We follow Sally through her training as a nurse and then how she goes on to be a nanny for Mick Jagger and then her impressive career of managing huge names in rock and roll, amazing contributions to charity and the darker side of rubbing shoulders and mixing with celebrities.

As you would imagine the books covers exposure to substances, unsavoury people and Arnold touches on her own experience of being abused/people in power abusing that. Some of the antics and behaviour is quite appauling of these celebs.

Arnold also catalogues her heartbreak and loss, how they found out about the plane crash with the band Lynard Skynard and how many of her experiences shaped her future path.

It is a really interesting read, shocking that even in those circles people are not above being nasty/bitches to get ahead and stand on others. The author includes personal collection photos so there are some of celebs I hadn't seen before. If you like memoirs and reading about life in the circles of the rich and famous you have both with this as we go with Arnold before during and after. She has led a very interesting and successful life with her no nonsense attitude, 4/5.

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Monday, 17 October 2022

Crimsom Lake by Candice Fox

Crimson Lake (Crimson Lake, #1)Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over months (was on my phone)

Pages - 348

Publisher - Forge

Source - bought (ebook Amazon)

Blurb from Goodreads

Crimson Lake, by Sydney-based, Ned Kelly Award-winning author Candice Fox, is a thrilling contemporary crime novel set in Queensland, Australia, perfect for readers of authors like James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, and Tana French.

How do you move on when the world won’t let you?

12:46: Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop
12:47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her
12:52: The girl is missing . . .

Six minutes in the wrong place at the wrong time—that’s all it took to ruin Sydney detective Ted Conkaffey’s life. Accused but not convicted of a brutal abduction,Ted is now a free man—and public enemy number one. Maintaining his innocence, he flees north to keep a low profile amidst the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

There, Ted’s lawyer introduces him to eccentric private investigator Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted murderer. Not entirely convinced Amanda is a cold-blooded killer, Ted agrees to help with her investigation, a case full of deception and obsession, while secretly digging into her troubled past. The residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair's every move... and the town offers no place to hide

My Review

So I accidentally read book two first whoops then we watched the series, Troppo, based on this book. Ted has moved to a small town to escape his horrific recent past. A cop, disgraced, accused of a heinous crime against a minor. The local cops are bullies and determined not to let Ted get comfortable in their small town. Enter Amanda, she is from said small town but very much an outcast for a crime against one of their own she also misses or ignores some social queues. Ted and Amanda end up an unlikely duo as Ted helps, reluctantly, Amanda with her private detective business. Investigating a missing person but small towns don't like people poking their noses into stuff and certainly not two ex cons like Ted and Amanda.

Oooft the book is quite brutal in parts, we flip back to Ted's past and how he got to where he is whilst he struggles with his new reality in a new town/place unable to escape his past. We also meet Amanda, my goodness Amanda is absolutely chaos! The book is quite different in points and it was good to fill in some gaps between the series and what I had read in book two.

The book covers some really shocking themes, child abuse, murder, bullying, violence, abuse of power, corruption and adorable geese. The relationship with Ted and Amanda is very different to a lot of duo team mates/partners in books etc and a really engaging take on two damaged, flawed and seemingly dangerous individuals. I love the medical examiners character, she doesn't play a huge part in either the book or show but what she does, I really like. I am sure there are 3 books so I need to check that and get it, hoping for season 2 on the show too, 4/5 for me. I have read this author before, combo with James Patterson so I do like her writing.

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October comp is now live

Apologies first that our competition page is down, it is under review (apparently an issue marked spam? and under review but very little information, our page has been the same since we started and just update the comps every month). We have requested review multiple times and there is noone to contact directly so we just have to wait.

October giveaway is x1 horror themed bookmark, winner can choose x1 bookmark from those in the pictures. There are also two pins, one diamonte spider and one love heart with a cat on top, the winner can choose one of those too. Items are exactly as pictured and open worldwide. As usual please use the Rafflecopter to enter.

Sorry it isn't all in one photo, I really need a new phone & with multiple pictures hopefully it means you can see the bookmarks better to decide which one you want if you are the winner.

So above are the bookmarks, of all the ones in the picture they are mostly double sided. The dog one, one side says lives and the other is it passed, one side orange one blue. The Shining lady in the bath, one side she looks like she does when Jack first sees her then the real her, her chest is exposed so I have covered with my finger. The next are the brooches or pins, not sure what we call them nowaday lol.

This is the first, spider and I know not everyone likes spiders (I think it is so so cute) so the other option is a black cat on top of a heart.

The competition is open worldwide, I do try and do as many as possible but sometimes if it is ebook or Amazon V I just can't as Amazon sends directly so only allows your own country. When it is actual treebooks or things like this I send directly so can open it worldwide. Very aware everyone is feeling the pinch just now so November is in the process of being sorted and will be worldwide too. With bills rising things like books etc will be considered more luxury item and everyone should have the opportunity to read or have a wee something to look forward to. Enter via the Rafflecopter, beloe, as usual.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Shining by Stephen King

The ShiningThe Shining by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over a few months

Pages - 659

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

My Review

This is a re read, I haven't read it since I was a kid. I love the movie (Kubrick version only recently seen the other one) and as I was back home I wanted to read it again. There is so much I forgot about the book like actually don't even remember reading but it has been a long time.

You get a bit of history on the Overlook, I really wish we would get a more indepth backstory though as the darkness is so fascinating especially the hold it can have over people. So for anyone not familiar with it Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy and little boy head to the Overlook hotel for Jack's new job, caretaker over the winter, isolated just the three of them. Jack is a recovering alcoholic, when in the grip of booze he lost a lot and has been making it up to Wendy and Danny since. The Overlook is more than just a hotel it is home to a darkness that can influence the people who spend time there and when the people are special, like little Danny the hotel and its spirits want him.

The book features dark themes, King's books always do, not just the supernatural but the evil and darkness within humans. We also have the good too, lengths some people will go to to protect others. We learn about the Shining and how extraordinary little Danny is and the more time he and his family are in the hotel the more creepy things happen.

The thing with King is he creates creepy, atmospheric books that creeps you out, baddies that are terrifying because they aren't always of our world but some are and equally as scary. The Shining is a classic, I loved it when I was younger and I think it still holds up all these years later, 5/5 for me. If you really want to creep yourself out, read it when staying in a hotel, every time I visit one, the corridors, no matter how it is decorated I always envision The Overlook.

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Friday, 14 October 2022

Women Like Us by Amanda Prowse Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Women Like Us, A Memoir, by Amanda Prowse, this is a LOVEBOOKSTOUR blog tour, you can find Kelly on Twitter.

I even took the book to the ice hockey with me to read inbetween intervals.

The book is available to buy from Amazon, click HERE.

You can find Amanda on Twitter and Instagram.

Women Like Us: A MemoirWomen Like Us: A Memoir by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 10 days

Pages - 396

Publisher - Little A

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

I guess the first question to ask is, what kind of woman am I? Well, you know those women who saunter into a room, immaculately coiffed and primped from head to toe?

If you look behind her, you’ll see me.

From her childhood, where there was no blueprint for success, to building a career as a bestselling novelist against all odds, Amanda Prowse explores what it means to be a woman in a world where popularity, slimness, beauty and youth are currency—and how she overcame all of that to forge her own path to happiness.

Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious and always entirely relatable, Prowse details her early struggles with self-esteem and how she coped with the frustrating expectations others had of how she should live. Most poignantly, she delves into her toxic relationship with food, the hardest addiction she has ever known, and how she journeyed out the other side.

One of the most candid memoirs you’re ever likely to read, Women Like Us provides welcome insight into how it is possible—against the odds—to overcome insecurity, body consciousness and the ubiquitous imposter syndrome to find happiness and success, from a woman who’s done it all, and then some

My Review

I have heard/read and even used warts and all used many times and I absolutely am using it for this book however it is probably the first time I am using it with actual pure felt meaning! So if you don't know who Amanda Prowse is she is an author who has written A LOT of books, I have read 3 with a few more on my tbrm and many more to buy! So about the book, Prowse takes us through her life, from a wee barra, teen, adult and authorhood.

This book took me through Amanda's life and back to quite a few stages of my own. Some of the things/experiences were so relatable I could have written them myself. Then there was some shockaroonies like the sanitary belt, I absolutely had to go and look that up. I can't imagine how you get into it let alone wear it!

The book is very open and honest and whilst I feel like you get that reading a lot of autobiographies Amanda Prowse felt it went deeper. If you have never had a battle with addiction, your weight or both then you may not appreciate just how much I imagine it cost to not only deal with that but to then commit it to paper and share it with the world. I wanted to reach out and hug her because it is a battle like no other and despite some addictions being treated more with compassion and understanding food/weight gain is still very judged/stigmatized.

The book is really interesting, emotive and takes us on many roads of the authors life and experiences, I have been struggling to read like I used to but for snippets of time I managed to loose myself. I cannot wait to read her other books and will absolutely be buying up others as I go along. If you only read one memoir this year make it this one, 5/5 for me.

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