Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Death File by J.A. Kerley

I'm not sure whether the author intended to make a very specific character so annoying that he would be unforgettable, but it made the reading experience almost painful.

The other theory is, and I hope this isn't true, that it was an attempt to make the character appear more hip and like the youth of today.

No one walks around saying 'hashtag' this and 'hashtag' that every ten seconds, especially not the young people of today. I felt it was detrimental to the story and the reading experience in general.

Unfortunately Carson's brother doesn't make an appearance in this book, which is a shame because their dynamic is an interesting element of this series.

The killer is apparent quite early on, so the thrill isn't about finding the killer, it is more about chasing him while he is always ten steps ahead.

Whilst the characters of Carson, Harry and Tasha are memorable and have an interesting dynamic, the tone of the premise is brought down by the dialogue between the killer and everyone else.

Buy The Death File at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for nay other retailer.
Follow @jackkerley
Visit jackkerley.com

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

There are events in history that tend to take second or third place in importance and narrative, mainly because there are so many atrocious events that tend to take precedence. Understandably so, however it doesn't make the pain and suffering of others less worthy of retelling. In this case the bombing of Milan and the invasion of Italy by the Germans.

The story of Pino Lella is one of many, there are a lot of forgotten heroes around us. The men and women who have made their niche in history with acts of great bravery, and yet their voices are never heard. The author was inspired to bring this true story of Pino's courageous actions to others, and I am glad he did.

Pino's parents insist he join the German military forces in an attempt to keep him safe. As a parent I can understand the convoluted logic, however this choice places him in the awful position of being one of the enemy. At the time there was no way his parents could have known what this association might entail in the years after the war. Any hint of collaboration often meant the difference between life and death, and being shunned by his fellow countrymen. His choice creates a chasm between himself and his best friend, but at the same time Pino has the opportunity to help bring the enemy down.

The chapters on the escape route through the mountains create vivid imagery. I am sure Pino's description of the climbs were almost blasé, despite the danger and the incredible skill he acquired to help Jewish people flee. This nonchalance is mirrored in the writing.

In a way Sullivan pays tribute to all the unknown Pino's of the world, and to all the stories we will never get the opportunity to hear. Reminding us of parts of history that slide into obscurity.

Buy Beneath a Scarlet Sky at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Follow @MarkSullivanBks
Visit marksullivanbooks.com

Saturday, 27 January 2018

#BlogTour Girl Targeted by Val Collins


Today is my stop on the Blog-Tour for Girl Targeted by Val Collins. It is a tale of murder with an underlying sense of darkness throughout, but not just because of the murder per se. Her main character has a nose for murder, which leads to the discovery of self and snake pit full of lies.

About the Author
"I can’t remember a time when I didn't love to read but writing is a pretty new adventure for me.

Of course I wrote stories when I was very young and I especially loved rewriting the ends of movies but I was an impatient kid and had an unfortunate tendency towards perfectionism. When, at around the age of ten, I realised my attempts at writing dialogue were dire, my writing career came to an abrupt end. A few years ago I decided to try my hand at writing again and Girl Targeted was the eventual result.

Girl Targeted is set in Ireland where I have lived all my life. It’s set in an office, an environment I know well as my entire working life has been spent doing office work. I’ve worked for small and medium sized organisations, for multinationals and for many different business sectors. Unfortunately, I was never lucky enough to come across anything as exciting as a murder so I had to rely on my imagination to create Aoife’s world.

I really loved writing Girl Targeted and I hope you enjoy reading it. Val"

Follow @valcollinsbooks on Twitter or ValCollinsBooks on Facebook
Visit valcollinsbooks.com
Buy Girl Targeted(UK)
Buy Girl Targeted (US)


About the book
A Psychological Thriller/Suspense set in Ireland.
Office jobs can be stressful. Aoife’s may be lethal.

Aoife’s life is finally on track. She’s happily married, pregnant with her first child and has the world’s best mother-in-law. But when Aoife accepts a job as an office temp, her entire life begins to unravel. Is one of Aoife’s colleagues a murderer? Is Aoife the next target? Why is her husband unconcerned?

Can office politics lead to murder? Girl Targeted is a perfect read for fans of Behind Closed Doors, Girl on a Train and the Silent Wife.
Review
It is a tale of murder with an underlying sense of darkness throughout, but not because of the murder per se. The feeling of fear, uncertainty and confusion comes from an entirely different place.

The story pulls the reader in two directions, and if I am being completely frank, I am not sure that was intentional. I think the relationship between Aoife and Jason was supposed to be a mere distraction in the background with the murder mystery taking centre stage. Personally I found their relationship and the clear message it sends, far more compelling than Aoife playing a very young and naive Miss Marple.

There was one thing that bothered me about Girl Targeted, and I could not be clearer about it being a personal preference thereby having nothing to do with how much I enjoyed the read. When it comes to names that look one way and are pronounced a completely different way I tend to suffer from my very own version of the Stroop Effect. Example: the word purple being written in red, do not read the word say the colour. So, the same happened with the name Aoife. Pronounced Ee-faa (and yes the author does tell the reader how to say it), my mind says Oyff. I was annoyed by own brain going Oyff nope Ee-faa the entire time. 'Sigh'

I digress.

Let's get back to what really had me intrigued when it came to this story. On the surface Aoife and Jason appear to be a happy young couple with a new baby. Jason's views are perhaps a wee bit chauvinistic, but there is nothing wrong him wanting her to stay at home with the baby, right. There is however something wrong with Jason. He wants to control all the money, the narrative and who Aoife meets or talks to.

Wrapped in a bubble of apparent concern is the insidious nature of the beast called abuse. Jason uses emotional abuse to control Aoife. He uses neglect and coercion to convince her to do everything he wants. He traces her every move, controls every penny and manipulates others to get his wife to do what he wants.

It seems almost innocent and can easily be mistaken for overprotective love or concern for a loved one, which is often how an abusive partner gets away with it. They try and take away any financial freedom, make the victim dependent upon them in every way and seclude them from family and friends. Extreme jealousy and paranoia are usually precursors for abusive behaviour.This element of the story, and the way it evolved, was really interesting.

Girl Targeted is a murder mystery with the serious topic of abuse woven into the story. The main character has a nose for murder, which leads to the discovery of self and a snake pit full of lies.

Buy Girl Targeted at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.


Friday, 26 January 2018

#BlogTour It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell


If you haven't heard any whispers about this book or come across it somewhere then it is my pleasure to introduce you to It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell. I am also thrilled to host a brilliant Q&A with Michele Campbell today. Enjoy!

About the Author
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.

She's had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.
Follow @MCampbellBooks @HQStories
Visit michelecampbellbooks.com
Buy It's Always the Husband


About the book
Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?


Q&A
The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms would like to know).
I’ll answer with the book I’m currently reading, because it’s SO good that I can’t think of anything else at the moment.  The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, which is the story of two sisters in occupied France, and so vivid that I feel I’m living it. I am toying with the idea of writing historical fiction. It’s inspiring to see an author make the past come alive so completely.

Books or authors who have inspired you to put pen to paper?
The best way to learn to write is to read, so why not read the greats? I have always drawn inspiration from the classic authors I studied in high school and college, authors like Edith Wharton, Scott Fitzgerald, George Eliot, Jane Austen, and Henry James. Not because they wrote great “literature”, but because their stories were compelling and accessible and always featured the best, most nuanced characters.  Their work thrills, inspires, elevates, educates — but also can’t be put down. In more recent times, you see this in the writing of authors like Margaret Atwood, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and many more.  I’m not by any means trying to compare my writing to theirs, but you asked who inspired me, so....

The last book you read which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet...you name it)?
Lol, wallet-wise, it’s definitely the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I love a rollicking time-travel romance — who doesn’t?  I read all the books, then when I heard the tv series was coming I had to subscribe to the cable network that was showing it just to watch that one show.  A pretty penny, but worth it.

Are you more of a movie night or series-binger kind of person? 
A series-binger, utterly.  When there’s a great film out there I will make an effort to get out and see it, but in recent times I feel that the most interesting, suspenseful, character-driven stories, and the ones that most speak to me as a female reader, are to be found on television.  Film has become very focused on super-heroes, hardware and special effects. In the past year I have devoured quite a few wonderful series from tv, including Big Little Lies, The Crown, Stranger Things, Outlander (a favorite book series of mine as well), Game of Thrones and others.

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?
Henry the VIII or any of his wives, so I can pick up plot tips for a sequel to It’s Always the Husband. ;)
You explore the depth of friendship and loyalty in your story. A topic, which I think will resonate with many readers.

In relation to that and the events in the book I think the most obvious question is whether Kate, Aubrey and Jenny really are friends or are they just acquaintances of convenience?
Both.  They came together at a very intense and vulnerable moment in their lives, when they’d just started at university.  Each girl has her own issues and problems that come to the forefront in the first year.  Because of this, they bonded in a way they never would at any other time.  That friendship, and co-dependency (your term, but a very accurate one), was real.  They turned to each other, and there were moments when they genuinely loved one another.  But the glue that comes from shared values and experiences was lacking.  They were always susceptible to turn on one another in a pinch, and, well, you see the results.

I am really interested in the inspiration for this story. Is it based on personal experiences, life in general or just a fictional war of friendships and betrayal?
I took inspiration from my own college days, and also from the fact that I was living in a college town at the time I began writing the book.  I knew I wanted to write about female friendship gone very, very wrong.  I needed a setting that would explain why three extremely different women, who have little in common and are clearly bad influences on one another, might form an intense friendship.  I found the answer in memories of my own freshman year of college.  You leave home for the first time and are suddenly surrounded by kids your own age, who may be smarter, prettier, richer, and, yes, nastier than you. That moment is incredibly intense, fraught with drama and peril as well as learning and growth.  I think it makes for a very compelling read!

Would you agree that there is an element of co-dependency between Aubrey and Kate?
Absolutely, and with Jenny, too.  Aubrey and Kate are both damaged by their childhoods.  Kate has lost her mother at an early age, and had difficult relationships with her father and — as she tells it — a succession of wicked step-mothers.  She has the means to indulge her sorrows in bad behavior without ever paying the price.  But she needs acolytes, as well as loyal retainers to clean up after her.  Aubrey adores and worships her, and Jenny keeps order.  Kate needs them, but they both need something from her.  Maybe it’s access to her glittering social world, or the stamp of approval that comes from her great name.  Aubrey is extremely intelligent but simply not equipped emotionally to navigate the world of Carlisle College.  She grabs onto Kate like a life preserver, much to her disadvantage.  And over and over again, Jenny cleans up the mess.  Why? Jenny is worth paying attention to.  She’s not the splashiest of the three main characters, but she’s perhaps the cleverest, and always has an ulterior motive.

Is it always the husband, unless it’s the best friend. The two people, aside from family, who tend to be closest to a person. Was exploring the aspect of betrayal being so close to loyalty and love being so close to hatred, intentional on your part?
Yes, completely intentional.  Suspense and psychological thrillers by nature explore the dark impulses that exist in the hearts of normal people. Those impulses are most likely to be awakened when our most intimate relationships go wrong.  I’m much more interested in that dynamic than I am in the motives of psychopaths or serial killers.  There are two unnatural deaths in this book, either or both of which could be called a murder.  Both deaths are the result of slow-burn emotions by people who would never think of themselves as criminals.  My goal is to get the reader sufficiently inside the heads of these “killers” to understand and even empathize with their actions.  Maybe we’re all capable of murder, given the right circumstances.  That’s what scares me.

Throughout the book Kate makes decisions which make it appear as if her intent is to harm or upset the apple cart. Are these the actions of a traumatised young girl/woman or is she a narcissist?
Great question.  To me, the answer is, both.  But the reason I’ve given each of the three main characters her own chapters is to allow the reader to get inside her head. Each reader can then answer this question for herself.

Thank you for answering all of my questions, especially the odd ones.
Thank you for the fantastic questions.  They are all so interesting, and really made me think.  A very enjoyable interview.

Review
Loyalty and friendship play a major role in this story, especially the friendships between women. The friendship between Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny is forged during their college years. The three of them are from different walks of life and are thrown together when they become roommates, which is the beginning of this tale of betrayal and secrets.

Kate returns to the roost, and her friends, after many years of hiding from the truth. Well that isn't really true, Kate is only interested in the here and now, and herself. So nothing has really changed except maybe that her friends are now no longer as willing to put up with her narcissistic ways. Friends can become enemies in a heartbeat.

Campbell examines the boundaries of the friendship between the women. How would you define loyalty between your best friend and yourself? Is there really any such thing as complete and utter loyalty or true friendship? Personally I think you have to go through your absolute worst times to find out just how tight your friendships are. Count the people still stood there after the walls have come tumbling down around you, and the majority of your so-called friends have suddenly forgotten you exist, there is no better eye-opener.

The other element of the story the author explores is whether or not we are all killers at heart. In some of us the urge just sleeps more deeply than in others. Also whether the still developing brain of a young person makes them as culpable as an adult committing the same crime. A rash decision, a gut reaction with fatal consequences. It could happen to anyone, unless of course it isn't an accident at all.
Kudos to Campbell for the ending, it's sneaky and done in an almost nonchalant way. You sort of think it's that person, then get diverted by a few red herrings, and end up being surprised.

It's Always the Husband is an in depth look at our closest relationships and if they can weather the darkest of secrets. It also examines the thin line between love and hate in friendships. Is there really any such thing as loyalty when your own survival is at stake?

Buy It's Always the Husband at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

#BlogTour Discovering the Woodsman by N.M. Brott

Today it is my turn on the Blog-Tour for Discovering the Woodsman by N.M. Brott. It's a tale of mythical creatures, forbidden love and dark secrets. It might make you rethink your trips to the forest though.
About the Author
After reading Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book, Women Who Run with the Wolves, back in 1994, Nina had the notion that her dreams could turn into interesting stories if she wrote them down. So she did. Her wish is for readers to find these stories as entertaining to read as they were for her to write.

When she’s not expanding her dreams into stories, Nina spends time with her husband of 27 years (when he’s home from work), their two children (when they’re home from college), and their two rescue dogs (when they’re not sleeping).
Follow @AuthorNMBrott
Visit nmbrott.wixsite.com/evgenia or visit NM.Brott on Facebook
Buy Discovering the Woodsman
About the book
In the beautiful and peaceable kingdom of Evgenia, it is rumored that mysterious creatures still survive long after the secrets of magic have been lost. Lady Heather Bloodstone’s headstrong nature impels her to discover whether the creatures known as Woodsmen truly exist outside of the fairy tales she adored as a child. When she meets Jasper—a handsome Woodsman with deep blue eyes, wild grass-colored hair, and a cocky smile—she is nearly overwhelmed by his kiss.

Jasper the Woodsman’s life consists of fulfilling requests from the maidens and ladies of the castle—be it for a healing potion, a kiss, or to become lovers. When the lovely Lady Heather refuses his offer of the latter, he is nevertheless intrigued by her request to become friends. A dangerous situation arises when their friendship deepens, because those who cross noble bloodlines with a commoner’s are banished from Evgenia forever. (less)
Review
One might presume, going by the cover that this is perhaps something other than what it is. The cover suggests middle-grade and younger readers, the blurb hints at more of a YA direction, however the content is more of a risqué nature and perhaps more suited for New Adult. It is filled with suggestive language and innuendos, for instance Woodsmen licking pink caves or rosy caverns, and there a few horizontal tango romps in the middle of the forest.

The blurb speaks of fairy-tales, mysterious creatures and hints at the more salacious nature of the story with words like lovers and kiss. The dialogue reveals a more amorous intent. It's almost like a naughty romance written with fantasy and fairy-tales in mind, except the innocent princess and her companion sound as if they are discussing the attributes of the Woodsman as if he were an adult film star. What size is his appendage and what exactly is different about his tongue?

So bearing that in mind and armed with that information, let's get to the characters and the story. Filled with curiosity, both Heather and Malva are determined to discover whether all the stories are true about the mythical Woodsmen. They are dwellers of the forest and givers of love and pleasure. Heather finds one quite quickly, apparently when you shout for them in the forest they just pop up out of nowhere. Note to self, try this the next time I'm in a forest.

Heather finds herself drawn to the Woodsman, despite their connection being deemed illegal. She also finds herself thrust into the world of royal secrets and obligations, some of which may rip her from the arms of her leafy lover.

I'm of two minds about this book, possibly because it is being torn in two different directions. Without the erotic element it would work as a lovely tale of love and or with mythical creatures. With the erotic element something seems out of place. I think Brott can deliver the goods on both fronts it just doesn't work well together in this particular case. The description needs to be clearer, so someone looking for a simple love story or fantasy for young teens doesn't end up with a more adult read.

I would like to see Brott unleash her penchant for passion and love, and deliver it as such.

Buy Discovering the Woodsman at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

#BlogTour Hydra by Matt Wesolowski


Matt Wesolowski is back with another venture into his extraordinary premise and story format Six Stories. Hydra lives up to its name with its many heads and threads, as the author lops them off one by one only to be confronted by yet another unanswered question. I am thrilled to be participating in the BlogTour for Hydra and hope you enjoy hearing about it as much as I enjoyed reading it.
About the Author
Matt Wesolowski is from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature Feature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio..

Follow @ConcreteKraken or @Orendabooks on Matt-Wesolowski on Facebook or visit him at mjwesolowskiauthor.wordpress.com
Buy Hydra (Six Stories 2) here
About the book
A family massacre. A deluded murderess. Five
witnesses. Six Stories. Which one is true?
One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the northwest of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, stepfather and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the Macleod Massacre. Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation.
King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five key witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was as diminished as her legal team made out.
As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious black-eyed kids, whose presence seems to extend far beyond the delusions of a murderess… Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.
Review
When I read Six Stories I thought it was a refreshing premise. I think it is ingenious that Wesowloski has chosen to use the same format again, indeed now he has done it again a series wouldn't go amiss.
We are back with our investigative journalist Scott King, who uses podcasts to engage with his audience.

Hydra is a set of interviews by Scott with the killer and people who have something to add to the case. Friends, acquaintances and anyone who can give insight into why this young woman would decide to just annihilate her entire family one day.

This time he is re-examining the Macleod Massacre. A young girl called Arla has been convicted of bludgeoning her parents and sister to death with a hammer. She is serving her sentence at a medium security mental institution, because the court found there was enough evidence to suggest diminished capacity at the time of the event.

There doesn't seem to be any reason why, and yet as Scott talks with one person after the other a picture emerges of abuse, stolen innocence and of betrayal on a massive scale. In a way it is a snapshot of how society fails so many vulnerable children, and how we are too willing to ignore signs of distress and calls for help.

What appears to be a tragic and yet simple case of girl gone psycho slowly develops, under the watchful and inquisitive eye of Scott, into a series of events that in the end cause an avalanche of violence. Wesolowski pokes the bear and angers the hive with this poignant and introspective story.

Embedded in this tale of assault is the power hungry drive of a specific breed of social media user, who thrive on the fear and pain of others. Anonymity allows them to leave any semblance of societal rule and order behind, and they use their online power to spread hate and cause havoc.

It's time the troll living under the bridge was taught that the darkness of the web isn't impenetrable. There needs to be accountability for both words and actions, and most importantly they need to acknowledge the hypocrisy of threatening others with exposure while they themselves sit behind a shrouded cloud of anonymity.

Once again Wesolowski delivers an engrossing read with a 21st century feel, and in the midst of this intriguing thriller, he takes a well-aimed shot at the more nefarious side of the world wide web. Hopefully this won't be the last time he rolls out Scott King the investigative journalist, podcaster extraordinaire.

Buy Hydra at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

#BlogTour Perfect Match by Zoe May

Today is my stop on the BlogTour for Perfect Match by Zoe May. Perfect Match is breezy light read with quite a few laughs. May doesn't take herself too seriously and applies the same approach to her views on relationships and online dating. The result is an entertaining read.

Connect with Zoe May on Twitter:
Follow @zoe_writes @HQDigitalUK @HarperCollinsUK
Buy Perfect Match


About the book
Can you ever find true love online?
Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!
Review
There is a chapter in this book that had me in stitches, because it reminded me of a similar faux pas I once made, except mine was mistaking a small heated fluffy hand-towel for a dessert. I was crying tears of laughter when I read it.

What May hides really well in this humorous story is the serious question of our expectations vs reality when it comes to relationships and love, and if that wasn't enough the author also takes a subtle pop at online dating. It has become the 21st century approach to meeting a potential mate. It has opened up opportunities, but it also brings certain safety concerns with it. Connecting with other people is now as easy as breathing air thanks to app, smartphones and technology in general.

Sophia has used nearly every website she can think of to find the right man. So far she has only met duds, bores and freaks. Then again she is extremely finicky. No one is handsome enough, rich enough, smart enough and certainly not entertaining enough for her.

In an act of desperation she writes a profile for yet another website with what can only be described as fantastical requests. In return she gets a lot of weird replies, but one of them is different, one of them matches the profile perfectly.

The moral of the story is you should never judge a book by its cover. Nothing could be more true in this case. As is the saying that you don't want something or someone until somebody else has it and it is no longer available to you. Sophia definitely suffers from wanting what she can't have and not wanting what she can have.

Perfect Match is a light-hearted rom-com with a frank take on 21st century dating and our inability to appreciate what we have, and to see what is often right under our noses. May entertains without losing sight of the point she is trying to make, and brings the serious tone when the story requires it.
It isn't often that a scene in a book makes me laugh out loud, so kudos to May for that.

Buy Perfect Match at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.


Monday, 22 January 2018

#BlogTour A Week to be Wild by J.C. Harroway


#MillsandBoonmakeover #MillsandBoonDare #HarlequinDare #IamLovingthenewCovers

A Week to be Wild by J.C. Harroway is kicking off and introducing the new and improved face of Mills & Boon, which was launched by Gerald Mills and Charles Boon and started off as the romance imprint of Harlequin UK Ltd in 1908. That means Mills & Boon have been enthralling their readers for 110 years.
The publisher, a subsidiary of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, operates as a division of Harper Collins. Mills & Boon has grown to become the UK's undisputed market leader in romance fiction publishing, entrenched in the hearts and minds of its avid readership. 
Now an imprint of Harper Collins, Mills & Boon is starting 2018 off with a mega boom and a brand revamp, which includes their new DARE series.

DARE ~ Sexy. Passionate. Bold. A brand new, searingly sexy romance series written by women for women, the Mills & Boon DARE series will feature strong, empowered women who take the lead – be it in the boardroom or the bedroom – and enjoy great sex on their terms.

About the Author
“Writing love because the world always needs more...” J.C. Harroway
Follow @jcharroway @MillsandBoon
Visit @jcharroway.com
Visit millsandboon.co.uk
Buy A Week to be Wild
About the book
Harlequin DARE, a new romance series featuring strong, independent women and sizzling hot heroes. Harlequin DARE stories push the boundaries of sexual explicitness while keeping the focus on the developing romantic relationship.

A daring game of temptation
She’ll play his game—but only by her rules!

Alex Lancaster is an adrenaline junkie. He’s also a sexy British billionaire who should come with his own warning signs. When Libby insists she is done with men who live on the edge, Alex coaxes her out of her comfort zone—professionally and very, very personally. Libby’s taking a high-stakes gamble, but the pay-off could win her everything…
Review
You might want to have your hand fan or battery powered handheld fan at the ready for this one. It might just get your pulse racing and your temperature a'rising to a level that might necessitate a cool breeze.

Libby is a strong independent business woman, who has put her love life on hold for the last few years to concentrate on herself and her business. She is also recovering from a traumatic event that has made her cautious about close romantic relationships, but hey having a little fun when you're hot under the collar isn't forbidden. Which is exactly what goes through her head when she meets the wealthy and handsome Alex. Suddenly being all professional is the last thing on her mind and all she can think about is this man who has got all her synapses firing on full power.

In the midst of all the horizontal tangoing, the passionate encounters and provocative game-playing the two of them start to develop a real emotional connection. The kind of connection Libby is still shying away from. The only reason she hasn't started to run yet is the fact Alex has managed, for the first time in a long time, to help her to experience the rush of life.

The new DARE series doesn't just cater to the reader who believes in the excitement of love, butterflies in their stomach and the heat of a blush rising to their cheeks. They also cater to the ones wanting the thrill of the chase, the excitement of sexual attraction and the hotter than hot interactions between the characters.

Harroway brings exactly the right amount of romance, sexual tension and eroticism to bring pleasure to the readers. Yes, that pun was intentional. It gets really racy and is superbly tempestuous. It might even elicit a gasp or two while you read.

This is pocket-sized passion that fits in your handbag, so you can enjoy a titillating read whenever and wherever you want. Mills & Boon for the 21st century woman.

Buy A Week to be Wild at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

There is a lot of waxing lyrical, which leads to the assumption that the story is leading in a completely different direction to the one it actually takes.

The procrastination, albeit very beautiful procrastination, makes the first half of the book appear to be a lot slower and the second half of the book is faster paced, and the plot is focused in another direction.

Not that I think it was Carlin's intention for the beginning of the book to sound like a ghoulish mystery with a Gothic vibe, which then turns into a Burke and Hare venture with an underlying romantic connection.

I think the intention was for the relationship between Hester and Rebekah to always be at the centre of the story, regardless of what happens around them. Their blossoming friendship, sisterhood and finally the twinkle of something more.The discovery of their feelings, the confusion and acknowledgement of said feelings, and the realisation that society will never accept it, would have been sufficient as a storyline. The second half of the book, which ventures more into the deep dark secrets of Rebekah's family could have been an entirely new novel.

It felt a little like Holmes battling Moriarty, while Hetty Feather struggles to survive on the streets, with a modern twist on romance thrown in for good measure. I would like to see Carlin follow through with the relaxed beautiful style of the first half of the book. Both styles have their merits, just not when fused together as one.

Leaving all that aside for a moment, I enjoyed the friendship and emerging romance between the two of them. Neither of them willing to admit the attraction is there and perhaps not even fully comprehending what it is they are feeling, because it goes against all the conventions they know. Carlin also describes the worlds between the classes well and the invisible wall keeping them apart. The stark reality of poverty and the rules of the streets the poor have to abide by to survive.

I certainly wouldn't be averse to seeing Rebekah and Hester teaming up together again.

Buy The Wicked Cometh at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @Hodderbooks

Thursday, 18 January 2018

#BlogTour Fruit Woman by Kate Rigby

I am delighted to take part in the Blog-Tour for The Fruit Woman by Kate Rigby. The Fruit Woman is an exploration of faith, forgiveness, memories and family. Kate Rigby has mixed the potent with the light-hearted to create a memorable read.

About the Author
"I am a hybrid writer, which means I have been published in a variety of different ways; traditionally, by small press and now independently, or self-published.
I've been writing novels for over thirty years.  Some of my book are available in paperback and all are available as e-books.
Social networking sites and writing sites have opened up a whole new world to me and introduced me to some great new writers and books I wouldn't otherwise have discovered.
I love cats, singing, photography, music and LFC.
I'm also an avid keyboard warrior, campaigning against social injustice."
Subscribe here for news about my books and writing.

Visit  kjrbooks.yolasite.com and bubbitybooks.blogspot.co.uk
Buy Fruit Woman (ebook)
Buy Fruit Woman(paperback)


About the book
Fruit Woman is narrated by Helen Scutt, a quirky and naive twenty-seven-year-old. The image of the Fruit Woman has appeared to Helen at important times in her life, particularly in relation to her own sexual and spiritual awakening. But only now, while on holiday with her extended family, does she get her first warning message from the Fruit Woman.
Set in the l980s, Helen returns with her extended family, after a twelve year break, to spend a fortnight at their favourite holiday destination in Devon: Myrtle Cottages. Due to join them for the second week of the holiday are: Helen's old friend, Bella, Bella's brother, Dominic, and Helen's cousin, Les. But shortly after the family have arrived on holiday, Helen's mother announces that she has also invited along someone from church for the second week of their holiday: Christine Wigg, a friend of the family, and victim of a rape several years before. In the context of the family holiday, where games of cards, scatological worries, and deep discussions abound, the story centres on Helen's anxieties over the second week's 'guest list'. She's not seen Bella for years, she's attracted to Dominic in spite of his religious beliefs, and she thinks it a bad idea for her mother to have invited Les, who was originally accused of Christine's rape by her in-laws. Helen's concerns trigger off all sorts of childhood and adolescent memories, but as her anxieties mount, can she make sense at last of what happened years before?
Review
Helen reminds me of someone who can't ever find any peace or rest because their brain is constantly buzzing with information, and that is exactly the way she narrates this story. Flitting from one anecdote or childhood memory to the other, like a bee collecting pollen on a sunny spring day.

I hasten to add that the magic of the scribe is to encourage the reader to look beyond the mindless rambling, as the tales are often merely the key to unlock the subliminal messages. Rigby has Helen skim the surface of the issues, much like taking the cream off the top of the milk with a knife or a spoon.

The true essence of this book is family. The eccentricities of our relatives, the loyalties and wars within the walls of the inner sanctum of the small country called family. Helen is safe within those walls, but perhaps also too protected. Is she the only one who can't see what is right in front of her eyes?
I agree with Gran about Bella, and indeed my children have probably tired of me commenting on the fact that leopards don't change their spots. Granted, children who are bullies sometimes grow into adults who reflect upon their mistakes and bad choices, however it doesn't change the fact they made it their mission to destroy someone else's childhood. I have a long memory.

In the midst of the reminiscing, the story of Christine's rape is brought up again and again. She has been invited to the holiday retreat by Helen's mother. Religion and forgiveness is portrayed in equal measures to Helen's more emotional reaction to the rape. A lifetime of punishment is more up her alley. The subtle discussion begs the question whether the rapist deserves the hand of forgiveness and whether or not a sexual predator can change his life around completely. Can faith control base impulses and the need for power?

The other fascinating element of this book is the Fruit Woman. I think each reader will experience the idea of her in a different way, depending on their frame of reference. For me Fruit Woman represents womanhood, at the same time she is also Freud's Id, the inaccessible part of our personality. For Helen she is the magical element of life, the beauty and confusion of living, and the gut instinct that whispers warnings to her even when she doesn't want to listen.

Rigby writes about the mundane and makes it seem extraordinary. She wraps religion, sexual violence, bullying, alcoholism and low self-esteem in a warm blanket of the mediocrity of family life. I liked her approach. You have to look deep below the surface with this one.

Buy Fruit Woman at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
#RandomThingsTours


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

#BlogTour The Confession by Jo Spain

You're in for a treat with this cat and mouse game of a read by Jo Spain. The Confession is a the kind of read that keeps you on your toes and captivated till the last word.
About the Author
Jo Spain’s first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. She has writte two further in the series, featuring DI Tom Reynolds. Jo has has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and is now writing full-time. She lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.
Follow @SpainJoanne @Quercusbooks #TheConfession
About the book
Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal? This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who
- of Harry, Julie and JP - is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?
Review
Don't we all carry an element of guilt around with us, perhaps some more than others. Secrets can erode the foundations of relationships. Guilty secrets can destroy lives. This author takes us on a riveting journey of doubt, blame and meticulous planning in this well thought out crime story.

Spain has woven the criminal activities of the bankers involved in the financial crisis of 2007 into this story of a senseless violent murder without any real rhyme and reason. Risk-taking banks, and greedy bankers caused what many economists consider to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Harry is one of those bankers and Julie is his wife. The wife who sat and watched as a stranger bludgeoned her husband to death. Did shock and fear make her freeze or is there another more nefarious reason she didn't lift a finger to help him?

The reader follows the story of Julie and the killer, as the police try to connect the dots in this supposedly spontaneous crime. Their childhoods, their relationships and their past in general. There must be some reason why JP walked into that particular house and picked that man.

Spain presents the perfect game of strategy between her protagonists with no prior connection to each other. Whilst both are busy evading the truth in an effort to keep the police in the dark, they re-evaluate their choices in life and how they paved the path to murder.

With compelling characters and an engrossing premise, Spain plays the long game with her plot. She keeps her readers hooked until the very last word.

The Confession by Jo Spain will be published by Quercus in hardback on the 25th of January 2018.

Buy The Confession at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
#RandomThingsTour

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

#BlogTour Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany

Today I am pleased to take part in the BlogTour for Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany. It is a psychological thriller filled with trauma, suspicion and an erratic main character, who is just waiting for her 'killer' to strike again.
About the Author
Amanda Brittany lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two dogs. She loves travelling, and visiting Abisko in Sweden inspired her to write ‘Her Last Lie’.

She began writing fiction nine years ago, and has since gained a BA in Literature, a Diploma in Creative Writing, and has had 200 stories and articles published in magazines globally.

When her younger sister became terminally ill, Amanda’s hope was to write a novel where her royalties went to Cancer Research. ‘Her Last Lie’ is that book, and all of Amanda’s royalties for downloads will go to that charity. ‘Her Last Lie’ is her debut novel.
Follow @amandajbrittany @HQDigitalUK
Visit amandabrittany.co.uk or writingallsorts.blogspot.co.uk follow amandabrittany2 on Facebook
Buy Her Last Lie


About the book
She thought she was free of the past. She was wrong.

Six years ago Isla was the only victim to walk free from Carl Jeffery’s vicious murder spree. Now, Isla vows to live her life to the fullest and from the outside it appears perfect.

Determined to finish her book Isla plans her final trip to Sweden, but after returning from Canada and meeting a man she never thought she would, her life begins to derail.
Suddenly Isla is plagued by memories of the man who tried to murder her, and the threat that he could be back causes her to question everything, and everyone around her.

This debut psychological thriller will have you closing down social media accounts, looking over your shoulder, and hooked until the very last line. Perfect for fans of Sweet Little Lies, Friend Request and Louise Jensen.


Review
Isla has never really dealt with the trauma of nearly being killed. To her family and friends she appears to be fine, but they are unaware of the turmoil beneath her cool exterior. When her would-be killer gets the chance to be released her anxiety and fear resurfaces, which is when she starts to question her relationships and her life in general.

Suddenly the love of her life doesn't seem to be the perfect partner, and her eyes start to wander. She feels as if it is impossible to confide in anyone around her, because keeping up the pretence is much more important than relieving herself of her worries.

There seems to be a certain level of victim-blaming going on, aside from the obvious people who believe in the innocence of the perpetrator of course, it's subtle but it's there. Questioning her need to conquer her fears by travelling the world again, thereby in their minds putting herself in the direct path of danger again.

I can understand Isla wanting to take back control of her life again, however I didn't really understand her reluctance to discover the result of the appeal. Correction, I comprehend the denial and the fact that it isn't happening if she doesn't acknowledge it, but it is in direct contradiction to her taking back control of her life.

Towards the end of the book the author presents an interesting conundrum. Has Isla escaped a killer to return to a killer? Her blog appears to tell a completely different story about her personality. Who is the real Isla? The woman who fears the return of a killer and is supposedly content with her life and relationships or is it the risk-taker, the passion-seeker and the liar?

Brittany delivers a master class in red herrings and subterfuge to deliver a gripping story of recovery and survival. She highlights the dangers of social media and how laissez-faire our attitude is towards it. Adding names without faces and often complete strangers. Do we really know what or who is lurking behind every profile?

Her Last Lie is a lesson in secrets, lies and people who live double lives, especially the people who aren't the person they appear to be. It's an attempt to peer behind the masks we hide behind to keep ourselves safe.

Buy Her Last Lie at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.


Monday, 15 January 2018

#BlogTour Aphrodite's Tears by Hannah Fielding

Today @kraftireader and I are kicking off the Blog-Tour for Aphrodite's Tears by Hannah Fielding. It is a delectable delight of mythology, history and a passionate romance. My post also features a fantastic Q&A with Hannah Fielding, and my review of course.
About the Author
Following her huge success as one of the UK’s leading romance authors with total sales of over 130k, Aphrodite’s Tears follows the award winning success of Hannah Fielding’s previous novels Burning Embers, Echoes of Love, Masquerade, Legacy and Indiscretion. Echoes of Love won Romance Novel of the Year at the IPB Awards in 2012 and Burning Embers was Amazon’s book of the month in 2011, while Hannah’s novels have been translated into 13 languages. With its spectacular setting and deep emotional drama, Aphrodite’s Tears will appeal both to fans of her backlist, as well as lovers of atmospheric travel writing including Santa Montefiore, Penny Vincenzie, Victoria Hislop and Lucinda Riley.

Egyptian by birth Hannah is fluent in French, English and Arabic and has lived all over the world, she currently lives between her writing retreat in the South of France and her rambling family home in Ireland. Hannah’s grandmother, Esther Fanous, was the revolutionary feminist writer in Egypt during the early 1900s and helped found the Women's Wafd Central Committee in 1920.

Follow @fieldinghannah on Twitter or AuthorHannahFielding on Facebook
Visit hannahfielding.net
Visit London Wall Publishing
Buy Aphrodite's Tears

About the book
Summer 1977, Oriel Anderson finds herself on the charming Greek island of Helios hoping to fulfil a long held dream or joining an archaeological dive team. Broken hearted after her university fiancé left her for her best friend, Oriel is determined to prove she can make it in a man’s world heading up an all-male team on her first underwater dig.

Spending her days excavating a Roman shipwreck, surrounded by turquoise waters and scorching sunshine, Oriel thinks that she has found paradise, until she meets her employer and the owner of the Island, Damian Lekkas.

A widower, with a scarred face, Damian is a brooding presence on the island who instantly takes a shine to Oriel, but Oriel resolves to maintain a professional relationship between them.  But the mercurial Damian has other ideas, and Oriel’s stay soon becomes a battle between her head and her heart.

When strange things start happening Oriel doesn’t know what to think. She learns that no other women who had come to work on the dive had lasted more than a few weeks, then a young boy almost drowns on one of the dives, and one morning Oriel finds a dead songbird in her room, its throat slit, and out exploring the beaches on her own Oriel becomes trapped in a cave. Could these things just be a coincidence or is someone trying to send her a warning?

A modern retelling of some of the most popular Greek myths, Aphrodite’s Tears evokes the Legends of the Gods, their power and passion, playfulness and cunning.

Q&A
The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms would like to know)
I have just finished reading Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece by Stephen Fry. He is such an intelligent and considered writer; I am very much enjoying his take on Greek mythology. I only wish the book were more comprehensive – no Troy and Odysseus, no Jason and the Argonauts, no Theseus and the Minotaur, no Heracles’ labours. Perhaps he will publish a second volume.

Books or authors who have inspired you to put pen to paper?
I think it was the romantic writers like Victoria Holt, MM Kaye, Charlotte Bronte and Daphne du Maurier who inspired me and still inspire me the most: the romance, the detail in description, the beautiful, almost poetic prose. I am also deeply inspired by the French romantic authors of the 19th century, like Stendhal, Musset, Theophile Gautier, Leconte de Lisle and Victor Hugo, whose works formed the basis of my university degree in literature.

The last book you read which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet...you name it)?
Helen Dunmore’s collection of poetry Inside the Wave moved me deeply. She died this year, very soon after the publication of the book, which is about life and death and the borderline between. It was through her poem ‘Hold Out Your Arms’, published widely in the media after her death, that I discovered the book. It really is beautiful. You can read it here: 

Are you more of a movie night or series-binger kind of person? 
I love series, because just as I love thick books, I enjoy long, sustained stories on screen. Films can leave you wanting more, but series allow you to really get to know the characters, and there is plenty of scope for detailed, intricate plots with twists and turns that compel you to watch the next episode – and the next! Recently, I have been in a ‘royal phase’, watching The Crown about Queen Elizabeth II and Victoria about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?
Margaret Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gone with the Wind. I would love to know how the writing process was for her (supposedly, she wrote the ending of the book first, and then went back and wrote the story leading up to that ending) and how she enjoyed the epic movie based on the work. I’m also fascinated by her refusal, despite pressure, to write a sequel – and I wonder what she would make of the two sequels by other writers that were released many years later, after her death.

From where did you get your inspiration for Aphrodite’s Tears, and why did you pick Greece as the setting?
Quite simply, Greece is one of my favourite parts of the globe. It’s a very special place for me, because it is so romantic. I bought my wedding dress in Greece – and I felt like a goddess wearing it; and my husband and I honeymooned there. One of the best evenings of my life was spent in the Acropolis in Athens, watching a production of the Sleeping Beauty ballet under the stars.

Greek mythology plays an important role in Aphrodite’s Tears, in fact I would say it is the essence of the story. Do you think it is becoming a lost and forgotten subject?
The Ancient Greeks left such a rich inheritance of legends – stories full of wisdom, and a god or goddess for everything, from love and war to wine-making. It would be such a shame for those legends to fade from memory, I think.
Creative minds find all kinds of ways to reinvent old stories, whether legends or fairy tales.  In the 1960s, for example, colour films like Jason and the Argonauts brought the Greek myths to life. Fast-forward to the early 2000s and writer Rick Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson’ series was enchanting children all over the world.
The Greek myths have timeless appeal, so I don’t think they will ever be lost. The main issue appears to be confusion between the Greek myths and the Roman ones, because there is considerable overlap between them.  

Leading on from the previous question, along with mythology there is also a heavy emphasis on history and the cultural identity of the Greek people. How important was it to you to try and give your readers a real sense and taste of all of those elements?
Absolutely essential. I don’t just want to tell readers a story; I want to draw them into that story. I want them to be sitting in their armchair in London or Kansas or Amsterdam and be transported to a little Greek island – to feel the sun on their face, to smell the fishermen’s catch of the day, to taste the tang of the salt air on their tongue. I so love to travel, I want to help my readers travel too. Only then can they really understand the context of the story that unfolds, and believe in the characters.

Helios sometimes appears to be an island lost in time, especially when it comes to the gender inequality. Women are still not treated the same as men when it comes to inheritance and marriage. Is this an imbalance so ingrained in their society that they refuse to let go of it, because the Greek feel that it would be like letting go of their historical past and traditions?
I think all cultures find change difficult, particularly when a way of being has existed for a very long time. As you suggest, granting women full equality would mean letting go of past traditions – and these are important for a people’s identity. The island of Helios is traditional, and that can have a downside for women; but it also has an upside in terms of men providing for and protecting their families. Just as ancient Greeks revered goddesses, so do men of this island appreciate women. 

There are occasional glimpses of the third eye, the divine instruments of fate and the connection between folklore and mythology.  The beliefs of the Greek are linked with all of those things. Do you believe in fate?
Yes, I do, which is why the concept appears in my most of my fiction in some way or another. I don’t believe that our futures are already written and we have no power over our destiny. But I do believe that something things are meant to be, and that if we are open to there being a guiding force, it can lead us to places where we can be our very best selves.

Will we be hearing from the inhabitants of Helios again?
I think not. It is never easy to part from characters; to leave them at a point in time in a story, even with the suggestion of a bright future ahead. But being an author is about writing the next story: a fresh story that will capture your heart and transport you to another world; a new set of characters about whom you will care deeply. I think my passion for travelling helps here: each new story is set in a new country, and I am always excited to let go of the last book and travel to the new place, where I can learn all about its people and culture.




Review
Aside from the fact the writing is beautiful, melodic even, Fielding manages to transport her readers straight onto the island of Helios. An island I would love to travel to and explore, despite it being a fictional one.

Oriel is hired in her capacity as an archaeologist trained in underwater excavation, to investigate a shipwreck on the island of Helios and catalogue any possible treasure or remnants of an ancient culture the team discovers. She is shocked to find that her employer isn't a stranger to her, well technically he is. let's just say they have yet to be formally introduced.

The spark between them is electric, despite the fact they are both fighting their attraction in different ways. Damian is a man with many female admirers, and Oriel is determined to only be with someone who wants her and her alone. Archaic views are quite normal in Helios, as are the traditions they follow, regardless of whether those traditions endanger the lives of the islanders.

The historical element made me want to take up scuba diving and treasure hunting. It is what makes this read more than just a romance with an intense relationship between two people in the throes of passion. The descriptive scenery, the islanders who seem to live by the rules of the middle ages, and the historical and cultural context, are what make this a beautiful read.
Helios sometimes appears to be an island lost in time. Lost in the history, the folklore and mythology of Greece. They adhere to the power of the divinities, the traditions set by the gods and of course the more mundane laws decided by man.
It is a delectable delight of mythology, history and a passionate romance. I admire authors who can transport their love of a culture and country onto the pages of a book, and in doing so inspire readers to experience new things. Not every scribe is capable of transporting their readers into the vivid imagery they create with words. Hannah Fielding is one of those authors.

Buy/Pre-order Aphrodite's Tears at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Aphrodite’s Tears is out in paperback on 25th January for £7.99

Watch the booktrailer for Aphrodite's Tears



Friday, 12 January 2018

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Fascinating premise, especially from a purely psychological point of view. The mental state of the sole survivors of massacres. The way they are hounded by the media, and considered both miracles for surviving and mistrusted because they did. They also often suffer from survivors guilt and PTSD.

Quincy has no memory of the event that took her innocence and fills her with constant fear. She can remember before and being saved afterwards, but the murderous middle bit evades her completely. She has no memory of how she lost a house full of friends to a murderous lunatic.

Therein lies the problem. She can't fill in any of the details, which makes the police suspicious. Perhaps not about her guilt, but about her hiding something. Then again you just don't know.

The press knows her as one of the three Final Girls. Now one of them is dead and the second has turned up on Quincy's doorstep. At first Quincy feels sympathetic towards Sam, but their new friendship starts to tear when Sam starts to show interest in the one person Quincy feels belongs to her. Coop is her saviour, her protector and just hers in general.

Sam starts to place Quincy in situations that make her act instinctively, unfortunately her instinct seems to indicate a predilection for violence. A survivor of violence, who has impulse control issues and the instinct to punish someone physically. Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Sager wants the reader to consider the psychological aspects of the trauma,but at the same time consider why only one out of many managed to emerge from such violent altercations. Casting a huge shadow of doubt over the lucky survivors.

Fear, guilt and anger make this psychological game of chess a gripping tale of suspense, which will make you question everyone and everything.

Buy Final Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @riley_sager  @EburyPublishing

Visit rileysagerbooks.com