Sirens by Joseph Knox #BookReview

51R-3JGNk6L

Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Sirens by Joseph Knox. This is the first book in the Aiden Waits series and my first time with this author. You can get a copy of Sirens from all good bookshops and also Amazon UK.

Synopsis:

I stopped going to work. I went missing. We still live in a world where you can disappear if you want to. Or even if you don’t.

Detective Aidan Waits is in trouble 

After a career-ending mistake, he’s forced into a nightmare undercover operation that his superiors don’t expect him to survive.

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again

When the teenage daughter of a prominent MP joins Zain Carver, the enigmatic criminal who Waits is investigating, everything changes.

A single mother, missing for a decade

Carver is a mesmerising figure who lures young women into his orbit – young women who have a bad habit of disappearing. Soon Waits is cut loose by the police, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman.

How can he save the girl, when he can’t even save himself?

My Thoughts:

The disgraced detective Aiden Waits is the right man for the job of tracking down a missing girl, especially when that girl is the daughter of an MP, and he wants the news of her disappearance kept quiet.

This is a story that I found a little slow to get going but in this slowness the author, managed to convey the scene, the characters and the basics ready for the story to evolve. I got to learn the story behind Waits and the way and why he was offered the job that I think many would have turned down. His record for being a dirty cop allowed him the space to work into the world of drugs, gangs and the whole heap of stuff that you expect to find along with this lifestyle.

I got a good idea of the people and the gangs that operate within the drugs world and also the methods of dealing with trouble or potential trouble makers. I felt that once all the basics were covered, the story then kicked into gear, this actually worked quite for me.  There are a couple of characters that I liked, but then I wouldn’t really want to like some of them, due to the nature of their characters, as they are pretty unpleasant. Even though there are quite a few characters and it took me a little while to get used to them, they are memorable.

I did enjoy this book and even though the slower beginning to this story, it gave a good foundation for the story that followed. It gave a lot of detail that I think will stand me in good stead for the next book The Smiling Man, and I am looking forward to reading that as well.

This book is definitely gritty and is detailed in some of its descriptions with a plot that explores things I would associate with a gang/drug theme. It deals with social and law disorder, drug abuse, gangs and crime in an atmospheric and noirish way. This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who enjoy Northern Noir, Crime, Thriller with an undercover/ disgraced detective.

About the Author:

81f6ZqDnaKL._SY200_Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke-On-Trent and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He runs, writes and reads compulsively.

Sirens is his debut novel. His second, The Smiling Man, is available now.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be brilliant 🙂 xx

Advertisements

Crimson Siege by Jay Raven @JayRavenAuthor @rararesources #PromoPost

Large Siege pic

Today I am shining a spotlight on Crimson Siege by Jay Raven as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. I have a few purchase links here to tempt you lovely readers, if you like vampire hunters, Carpathian Mountains, mercenaries and the supernatural then this could be right up your street.

Universal purchase link-   http://geni.us/9E27uh

Amazon.com link           https://amzn.to/2HZrEar

Amazon.co.uk link       https://amzn.to/2JUJqxb

 

Now let’s have a look to see what the book is all about.

Synopsis:

Blood Riders Book One.

In the Godforsaken badlands of Transylvania the fragile truce between mankind and monsters is about to explode…

When bounty hunters target one of 19th century Europe’s most feared vampire clans, the last place any lawman wants to be is caught in the middle…

But for Anton Yoska, Lord Marshal of the Imperial lands south of the Carpathian Mountains, fate has trapped him in a supernatural stand-off that can end only in a bloodbath.

A gang of mercenaries led by Anton’s former army comrade Milosh Drubrick have captured vampire aristocrat Stefan Modjeski, wanted for a string of frenzied murders, and have come to Anton to claim the reward. And as Stefan’s predatory undead kin lay siege to the jailhouse, Anton is faced with an agonising choice – hand over his prisoner and abandon the bounty hunters to their unspeakable fate, or stand and fight.

The jailhouse defenders are outnumbered and out of options. It’s a battle that can’t be won, certain slaughter for them all, and Anton can’t trust his scheming allies. But Lord Marshal Yoska isn’t about to surrender.

For he’s an experienced vampire hunter, a dangerous man when cornered, and a single minded warrior who knows there are worse things to fear than death…

About the Author:

Jay Raven 1.JPG

 

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house beside a 500-acre wood teeming with bats may have something to do with it.

Follow Jay on –   Facebook –  Twitter –  Website

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

Crimson Siege Full Tour Banner

vamp party quote 1

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would brilliant 🙂 xx

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck #BookReview

51wWW5XmstL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)

Today I have my thoughts on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. It was a chance for me to take a dip into one of the classics, I had read quite a few of the classics a couple of years and never did quite get round to this one. I have read Grapes of Wrath and also Cannery Row and enjoyed them and gave me a chance to get a feel for the authors grim and gritty style. You can get a copy of Of Mice and Men from most good bookshops and online at Amazon UK, my copy is the Penguin Red Classics edition.

Synopsis:

Drifters in search of work, George and his childlike friend Lennie, have nothing in the world except the clothes on their back – and a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are dashed as Lennie – struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy – becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes of friendship and shared vision, and giving a voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men remains Steinbeck’s most popular work, achieving success as a novel, Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

My Thoughts:

Of Mice and Men is the story of George and Lennie. They work various jobs and travel around looking for new work as one job runs out or they run out. The story begins as they head towards their next job. George has a dream to one day own his own plot of land and Lennie is happily caught up in this vision of the future. Lennie is a gentle giant of a man and is referred to as being not very bright but will work hard and do as he is told.

George looks out for Lennie and knows that many would not want a man like Lennie working for them, prejudice at this point in history is ripe so anyone being slightly different is not acceptable to many. Even though George is often frustrated by the simple nature of Lennie, he is a friend and will support him. They are each other has.

This is a simple tale of friendship between two men travelling for work. Rather than being loners as many travelling labourers are, they have a bond in their friendship, they are able to talk about their dreams for the future and it gives them hope. George tries his best to keep Lennie out of trouble, but this is not always possible and  misunderstandings do happen.

This is a quick read at only 121 pages and is easy to read in one sitting. It’s style is one I like, a slow meandering yet descriptive and emotional one. It explores various inequalities and prejudices that were relevant at the time. A wonderful read that slowly rolls along until it picks up speed as a sense of tension begins to build.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who enjoy American Social History, Literary Fiction and  Classic Fiction.

About the Author:

41Hta3i6uDL._UX250_ John Steinbeck is perhaps best known for Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, which led to his Nobel Prize for Literature award in 1962. Born in Salinas, California in 1902, Steinbeck grew up in a fertile agricultural valley about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast: both valley and coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a labourer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929). After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933) and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938).

Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California labouring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939).

Being partly based on his own experiences as a travelling worker, Steinbeck originally wanted Of Mice and Men to be titled ‘Something That Happened’. The book explores themes of powerlessness, loneliness and empathy and received the greatest positive critical response of any of his works up to that point. It has achieved success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

Steinbeck’s compassionate depiction of the poor in The Grapes of Wrath helped the book become an immediate publishing phenomenon, discussed on a national scale and becoming an instant bestseller. The book was described by the Nobel Prize committee as a “great work” and stated that it was one of the main reasons for granting Steinbeck the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942). Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952)East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.

The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books include: Sweet Thursday (1954)The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957), Once There was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966) and the posthumously published Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969),Viva Zapata! (1975,The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989).

He died in 1968, having won a Nobel Prize in 1962.
Photo by Nobel Foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx

TH1RT3EN by Steve Cananagh @SSCav #orion_crime #BookReview

51Hun9Zbi4L._SY346_

Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on TH1RT3EN by Steve Cavanagh. It is available from all good book shops and also Amazon UK.

Synopsis:

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

My Thoughts:

So the tag line for this is to the point, if that doesn’t grab you then check out the fabulous authors who also add their comments. I had seen so many reviews for this book from other readers and Book Bloggers that I had to get a copy to see what the fuss was about.

So admission time here… this is the first book I have read by this author, I do have three other books by this author in the Eddie Flynn Series and really must bump them up my TBR to read soon, this one works very well as a stand alone.

Eddie Flynn is a character I absolutely took to from the outset. He is one of those guys that has principles and he stands by them, putting himself in danger in the process. This is what he does to ensure he gets the absolute truth.

Kane, well what a sneaky, despicable and clever character this is. I loved to hate him, even if I didn’t know exactly which one he was on the jury. He is a character that blends in, an average Joe if you like.

Essentially this is a courtroom drama and it is a genre I don’t read that often but, when I do I enjoy them a lot. This felt so different to those I have read in the past because it is courtroom mixed in with thriller and crime that is in the present rather than in the past. In adding the threat in the present the author has managed to up the anti in the suspense, keeping the danger ever present is a great way to build up a sense of suspense for what may happen next.

I love the twist that the killer is on the jury and I did wonder how this would pan out over the story. This is where the author really has worked some imaginative magic. At no point did I know or even guess the identity correctly, I thought it would be a trial and error type of book where I would flit between the characters until I was reasonably sure I knew who it was…… no chance, not even close.

There are so many aspects to this book that I adored and worked for me; the pace, the plot, the characters and the … actually everything worked. It was set out in quick chapters and I liked the extra touch of the individual juror information included when the trial section of the book started.

I think the other good thing is that belief that not all trials are fair, that things can and are manipulated was something that interested me, that evidence can be seen in several ways and from different perspectives depending if you are for or against the bloke in the docks. The author has taken this manipulation to the next level and done it so well.

If you like crime, thriller, suspense and action in a courtroom drama then you should definitely have this book on your radar, it isn’t tied up with loads of jargon or red tape making it a book that you can lose yourself in easily. It is spectacularly deceptive and cleverly written and one that I would absolutely recommend as a must read book.

About the Author:

51nLx9c3RcL._SY200_ Steve Cavanagh is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and lawyer. He is also one half of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. His latest novel, Thirteen, is out in ebook now and paperback in June.

Find out more at Website or follow Steve on Twitter 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Meeting author Amanda James @akjames61 at 2018 Hellys Festival Helston.

_20180809_143144.jpg

Today I have something a little different to share, it is obviously book related 🙂

Sandwiched in amongst two appointments I managed to get to spend an hour at the Literary Lunch segment of the Hellys Festival in Helston Cornwall. I finally got to meet author Amanda James. I have tried on a previous occasion to listen to her talk but work always manages to get in the way and make it impossible, this time I was not going to be deterred.

I have been a fan of Amanda since last year when I first discovered her books. I have been on a couple of Blog Tours with Bloodhound Books and have just signed up for the next one. When I see an email from Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound with the name Amanda James attached I accept straight away, I don’t read the synopsis, I just accept.

The setting for the Literary Lunch is a little unusual, a marquee at the side of the re-purposed Cattle Market in Helston, it had various things going on and though it took me a little while, I finally found the right place. It was an intimate gathering and had a relaxed and friendly feel to it.

Amanda is a lovely, warm and friendly person who made me feel very welcome , and I could have quite happily chatted to her for a while if I didn’t have to shoot off for my next appointment (the dentist for a check up grrrr)

The event started with a short introduction about how she made her way into writing full-time as well as being published and giving some advice to a fellow audience member / author.

Amanda’s talk was based around things that she feels are some of the important factors that she puts in her books. She now lives in Cornwall and has found the landscape is something that become a character in its own right. This is something I feel that comes through very strongly in her books. Cornwall is a very visual place with so many different sights and also the corresponding sounds and smells. Amanda explained how she finds it important to include some of these details into her stories.

She gave several short readings to highlight key-points of her talk. She included readings from Another Mother, Rip Current and The Calico Cat. Using these readings to highlight various things you want in a book, such as suspense, excitement, intrigue, the importance of setting, having a baddie and also the twist. Her main point was that the reader should feel that these aspects should feel believable and realistic and not forced or contrived in any way. Not every book has all of these elements and each author has their own way of writing and the things they personally like to include.

I had a wonderful hour listening to Amanda talk as well as being able to contribute a couple of things myself. If you ever find yourself with the opportunity to go and see and listen to Amanda then please do, she is a really lovely person. Also a mention to her husband who took the photo at the start of my post, thank you very much xx

I have still to read Rip Currant, and I do have it on my kindle TBR, yes even my kindle has a To Be Read (ASAP) Category 🙂 I mentioned that I had read some of Amanda’s previous books and if you would like to see my thoughts on those follow the links below.

The Calico Cat

Another Mother

Behind The Lie

About the Author:

61Oa1thrTTL._UX250_

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Five suspense/mystery novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins) 2018 Another Mother, and Rip Current – Bloodhound Books. The Calico Cat – family drama/coming-of-age out now with Bombshell/Bloodhound.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Follow Amanda on her – BlogTwitter Facebook

I you want to read any of Amanda’s books (and you should of you haven’t already) you can find them at good book shops and I am including the link to her Amazon Author Page HERE to make it even easier for you 😊

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @ellakroftpatel #PublicationDay

51hOobwYylL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

The Confession by Jo Spain and published by Quercus Books and will be available in paperback from 9th September, you can get your copy from AMAZON UK. I was lucky to be able to read an advance copy of the eBook version earlier this year. If you have not had the chance to read it yet then you should 🙂

Synopsis:

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?

‘I can’t praise The Confession enough. Brilliant writing, great story… a really cracking read’ BA Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown

An absolute cracker of a book, compulsive, deviously plotted and intense – I will be recommending this to everyone Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner

‘Has you addicted from the very first page. I found it impossible to put down’ Michelle Frances, author of The Girlfriend

‘Here is my confession: I’ve never read Jo Spain before but now I’ll be buying all of her books. The Confession is brutal and brilliant’ Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle

My Thoughts

When a stranger walks into a house, beats up the husband as the wife watches frozen, unable to do anything to help or stop the attack, you know there will or should be a pretty good reason for it.

Oh! This is a good read, a well paced psychological thriller. It is set over several years, filling in the background of the main characters. The chapters are told by different characters and from their own perspectives. They flit between times and places with quick succession. It did take me a few chapters to get to grips with this, occasionally loosing what time I was in, but its one of those books that, as you read you get to learn the style and format.

The characters themselves, I have mixed opinions on some and changes my opinion on others. This is a good thing by the way, for me it means the author has manipulated my feelings as I have read and therefore my opinion matches the character as they change, or you learn more about them. Now as for the plot, it is one of those deliciously deep and twisty ones that kept me guessing, even when things were being drawn together for the conclusion a few more sneaky twists were included in this slippery tale.

This is a book that I would definitely recommend to readers who like a good psychological thriller with twists that are revealed at the end with extra twisty bits. It also has elements that show the contrasts of two different social backgrounds, one poor and one rich, the haves and the have nots. A well written and executed read that kept me turning the pages avidly.

About the Author:

91IssqxXLHL._SY200_.jpg

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 written two further in the series, featuring DI Tom Reynolds.
Jo has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and is now writing full-time. She is currently writing a screen play for a brand new RTÉ crime drama series. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

Follow Jo on Twitter
• Jo will be speaking at Bloody Scotland alongside Elly Griffiths and Sarah Pinborough on Sunday 23rd 2018.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton @stu_turton #BookReview

35967101.jpg

I bought my hardback copy of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton back in February, it was a book I spent some of my birthday money on. It has spent the last few months shouting at me to be read and I have now silenced it by finally reading it…. You will want to get our own copy and it can be bought from many book sellers and also Amazon UK I would suggest a hardback as there is a fantastic map printed on the inside front and back covers 🙂

Synopsis:

Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

My Thoughts:

Evelyn Hardcastle has been murdered, and murdered and murdered again. How is this possible? Because each day is repeated! Aiden Bishop also re-lives this same day, can he change the outcome? Can he solve the murder?

“How the bloody hell am I going to review this?!!!!”, I said to myself when I finished this book…. because it is just a genius read and flipping fantastically fabulous… sorry for all the f-words, but at least they are all the polite ones rather than the ones I actually thought 😉

When I began reading this book it had already been open for a few minutes as I was busy scanning the map on the front cover. Then as i began the story I thought that it felt a little bit Agatha Christie like. Then a few more pages in I thought Christie didn’t write like this and that was where the similarity stopped and the style of this author came flying out. The setting of a mansion and a cast of characters that any one of which could be the murderer is what made me think Christie. But then as I learned more about Aiden it took on it’s time-loop style. It is up to Aiden to work out all the twists, knots, wrinkles and creases of this story, it is mind mindbogglingly clever….

So to the plot…..I am giving you nothing, nope not a damn thing… Not because I’m mean (some may disagree 🙄) but because I really don’t know how to explain it so that it makes sense, I mean it makes complete sense to me now as I have had time to digest and work out how it all worked out, but to try to explain it to someone who has not read the book would make it ludicrously confusing as I would be jumping back and forward, then I would be mentioning the things that I missed. This is a plot you really need to experience for yourself.

Characters, well there are a few and they are the essential part to this story. They really were a random mixed bunch, from serving staff, to lords and doctors, some I liked some I didn’t and you get a feel for who they are and what they do, but not always realising what their motives are. The one thing I did realise was the only one I could (almost) trust was Aiden, and only because it was his story but even then there is that “what is he hiding” thought.

Oh dear god! I am being so vague with this post it is ridiculous, so lets cut to the chase here. It is a book to be savoured, I took my time with it because I didn’t want to miss a single word in case I missed some crucial detail. I realised this at the beginning as I had to back track to something I had previously missed. If you take your time you will be able to digest the timings and twists as the plot gets deeper and deeper. It is a book that is so cleverly written that it beggars belief. It is one of the books you occasionally come across that is exceptionally and brilliantly crafted, one that left me a little stunned. You can also add into the mix of positives that it is extremely addictive, brilliantly atmospheric as the suspense and fear of the unknown creep and sneak around and it is so well written.

This is an absolute must read for those who love deceptive mystery and murder reads, with a great time loop twist on the classic whodunit style.

About the Author:

Stuart Turton is a freelance travel journalist who has previously worked in Shanghai and Dubai. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his debut novel. He is the winner of the Brighton and Hove Short Story Prize and was longlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition. He lives in West London with his wife.

Follow Stuart on TwitterBlog

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland @under_blue_sky #BonnierZaffre #NetGalley #BookReview

51iLSgBXNgL._SY346_

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland. I received an eARC from Bonnier Zaffre via NetGalley and I have now finally read this beautiful book about how life has more limitations for some people. You can purchase your own copy from Amazon UK, it is available in various formats.

Synopsis:

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.

She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point and she wants to find her father.
Have her friends left her behind?
And she’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. She barely knows where to start on her own.

Then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart. 

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Ailsa Rae who was born with a faulty heart. She is 28 and only a transplant will keep her seeing her 29th birthday.

Now then, even though the synopsis left me thinking that this would be a sad read, the story that comes out is one that gave me a feeling of the exact opposite. Even though there are moments that are sad, this book is uplifting and heartwarming giving an insight into the life of a person being on the waiting list an also of a transplant patient.

Ailsa has a blue tinge to her, this is due to her heart not working properly, she uses this to refer to herself as Blueheart as she creates and runs a blog. It is a way to keep people up to date with how things are going, but importantly is a guide for people who are in a similar position to herself and for those who may need advice in the future.

The story is mainly of Ailsa and her journey after the transplant and how she comes to terms with starting to live her life. It involves a change in everything and I hadn’t even considered how a person would have to adapt their whole life to basically begin again. I had not really thought that much about how such a restriction on a person’s life would essentially be that person’s life, and that all they had known would have to be changed. This is where the book really worked for me as it opened my eyes to an area that I wasn’t really aware of. I don’t personally know of anyone that has needed to have a heart transplant, so even though I sympathise (this doesn’t feel like the right word to use, but I hope you get what I mean) I really had no idea of the enormity of the changes required. Ailsa has been protected all her life by her mother, wrapped up in cotton wool. It means that Ailsa is not as mature and worldly-wise as you would expect of someone her age. It means that when she starts to live a healthy life she has to grow up, she has to do things for herself and not be so reliant on her mum. So essentially not learning how to live but also to live as an adult.

This is such an emotional story and such a lovely read that I was drawn completely in. I loved the way that the author added blog posts and emails intermittently through the story. The use of the blog was a great way of seeing how Ailsa looked at the world as she interacted with her followers as she asked for advice.

There are so many more things I could mention about this book but I have decided to stop here. There are interactions and friendships, hard choices and decisions to be made that make this quite an emotional book to read also peppered with humour and a lighthearted ness at times. It gave me a chance to see a different perspective to life and how it can be so very different to my own.

If you are after a well written a beautiful heartwarming, eye opener and heartbreaking book then do please read this. I was hooked from the very first pages and did not want this story to end. This is a book that will stay with me and one I would most definitely recommend to readers.

About the Author:

81Trop7ggSL._SY200_ Stephanie Butland is the author of beloved bookshop tale ‘Lost For Words’ and her new novel ‘The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae’, released in ebook and paperback 19th April 2018 (available for pre-order now).

Stephanie lives in Northumberland, close to the place where she grew up. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden, and loves being close to the sea. She’s thriving after cancer.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter – Facebook – Website

#LostForWords #TheCuriousHeart #AilsaRae

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton #BookReview

51ZB4J-NfIL

I am delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on the dark and deviously brilliant The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton. I bought this a little while ago and it has been glaring at me from my bookshelf to be read, why oh why oh why did I wait so long……. You can buy this book in various formats from quite a range of places including real book shops, on line book shops and if your in the UK from the supermarket…….. My shopping List= Milk, Bread, Wine, Coffee, The Craftsman 🙂 and also here is a link for Amazon UK to help you.

Synopsis:

Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

My Thoughts:

Read the synopsis it gives you a taster of what to expect, but it does not give you any indication as to how this book will really get under your skin. Larry Glassbrook is buried in 1999, he was a convicted for the series of child murders. 1969 is the beginning of events.

Oh my god, where on earth to start with this book? I am going to mention that I am not someone who suffers from claustrophobia but, this book definitely had me with a sense of being closed in … I was sat in the garden reading it…. then I have to mention finger nails even writing this now I am getting a shudder thinking about finger nails being ripped in desperation arghhh, if this was a film I would have looked away, something you cannot do when reading a book. These sort of spine tingling and skin crawling moments are sporadically littered throughout the story.

So from the very outset you are aware of the culprit Larry, he was arrested, charged and sentenced. Jobs a goodun right? Now I am going to mention Florence or Flossie, a young WPC, oh my god how things have changed. Using her own strong character and bloody minded stubbornness she finds herself being involved with the detectives on the case in 1969, sounds great until you realise the patriarchal attitude of male officers at the time. She will be ideal for typing the notes as she is a woman and they are quicker at doing this than men Oh and don’t forget to make the tea. I am so glad that Flossie was portrayed as more than her colleagues thought she was, it was really great to see a female character with occasionally more balls than her male counterparts, even if it did land her in so much trouble. It could also be argued that her male colleagues were just looking out for her, not wanting her to get into disturbing situations. You will make you own decisions about this topic. I am sure I read somewhere ( I hope I got this bit right, gulp) that the author didn’t deliberately set out to raise any sort of awareness about this, and maybe this is why it worked so well for me.

I have to mention the setting of this story, PENDLE….. if you are not aware Pendle has a history with The Witch Trials of the 1600’s. What a setting and how could you not have a book in this area that does not include witchcraft and the occult. I loved the way the author embraced this part of history to include it in the story, it certainly adds to the chills down the spine. There are those that believe in the power of nature, its healing properties, the use of herbs and plants in medicine and in charms or curses, whether you believe in this or not it is up to you. But it added an element of mystery, intrigue and also of a historical interest at the same time upping the suspense even more.

This book is separated into three sections, this gave me a moment to catch a breath and try to arrange my thoughts to some sort of coherent level as I then delved into the next section, and believe me a moment is all you will want to take.

So if you hadn’t already guessed it, this book is bloody awesome. It has so many things going on in it and they are all explained and arranged so that there is no confusion with what is going on. It is about finding the truth, dispelling prejudice and accepting that there are different approaches to finding the truth. I want to write so much more about this book, I am only really skimming the surface here, and about how it made me feel really, but this is all I am giving you 🙂

It’s a suspense filled thriller and murder mystery of the very best sort. I loved it a huge amount as the occult was woven through the investigation. It was spine-tingling and dare I say nail-biting ( I still have the shudders over the nails thing), atmospheric and … hold on …. if you have not got a copy yet, then why the hell not? Take my word for it go and get a copy and see for yourself how fabulously brilliant this book really it.

Would I recommend it? Do you really need to ask LOL? I would definitely, absolutely and highly recommend it!!! xx

About the Author:

913K8f4WgzL._SY200_.jpg

Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the critically acclaimed author of some of the most bone-chilling crime books ever written. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. In 2014 she won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her whole body of work. Sharon lives near Oxford with her husband and son.

All images used are from Amazon.co.uk

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

One Endless SSummer by Laurie Ellingham @LaurieEllingham @rararesources #99pPriceDropPromo

One Endless Summer.png

I am delighted to be sharing a Price Drop Promotion today for One Endless Summer by Laurie Ellingham as part of the promotional blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗

One Endless Summer is in the UK Kindle Summer Sale.

Until 31st August it is only 99p and can be purchased HERE

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗

Synopsis:

How long can you keep a secret?

Three best friends are embarking on an all-expenses paid trip of their dreams. The only catch? Every moment will be documented on film.

Lizzie is finally ready to embrace adventure for the very first time. It’s their last three months together, but it is Lizzie’s time to finally start living!

Jaddi is known for her stunning looks, flirtatious attitude and many conquests. But Jaddi has a secret and on this last trip together she needs to decide whether her best friends will ever know the real her.

Samantha has always been the ‘grown up’ of the group, the one with a five year plan. What Lizzie and Jaddi don’t know is that Sam is trapped, and her perfect life isn’t quite what it seems…

As they trek across the globe Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha must come to terms with loss, love and trusting one another. But will it all be too late…

‘Speechless at just how breathtaking this book really is.’
Rachel Gilbey

’Mind-blowing, enchanting, heart-breaking, moving, spell-binding and emotional.’
The Writing Garnet

About the Author:

Small photo.jpg

When I am not running around after my two children, my husband, our cockerpoo Rodney, or just plain running, I love nothing more than disappearing into the fictional world of my characters, preferably with a large coffee and a slab of chocolate cake to hand.

I have a degree in Psychology and a background in Public relations, both of which help me in everything I do.

Social Media Links – : TwitterFacebook

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be wonderful 🙂 xx