#BlogTour: Someone Like Me by M. R Carey @michaelcarey191 @orbitbooks @Gambit589 @Tr4cyF3nt0n #SomeoneLikeMe

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Book Synopsis:

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. 

Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her kids in a loving home.

But there’s another side to Liz, one that’s dark and malicious. She will do anything to get her way – no matter how extreme.

And when her alter-ego takes control, the consequences are devastating.

Someone Like Me is available now in hardback and ebook, purchase your copy here.

My Review:

I was a huge fan of The Girl With All The Gifts so I was very excited to be invited onto the blog tour for his latest book, Someone Like Me.

The thing that I love about this author’s books is his ability to create realistic and terrifying world’s that you can’t help but feel fully emersed and involved in. This book was no exception as from the very first page I was totally gripped by this intriguing story and unable to put the book down.  Its definitely going to be a book that I think about for a long time.

The two main characters are both very well drawn and I enjoyed learning more about them both as the story develops.  They were both very likeable characters that I couldn’t help but warm to and I soon felt very invested in the story as I wanted to find out how things would end up for them both.

This book is very atmospheric, chilling and utterly gripping from the first page which makes for a very intense but hugely enjoyable reading experience. As other bloggers have mentioned it’s difficult to review this book without giving too much away so I’m going to leave my review there before I can give away spoilers. Trust me though, if you like chilling, dark and atmospheric books then you need to read Someone Like Me.

Huge thanks to Orbit for my copy of this book and to Tracy from Compulsive Readers for inviting me onto the blog tour.

About The Author:

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M. R. Carey has been making up stories for most of his life. His novel The Girl With All the Gifts was a word-of-mouth bestseller and is now a major motion picture based on his own screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey he has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on Lucifer, Hellblazer and X-Men. His creator-owned series The Unwritten appeared regularly in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels, games, radio plays, and TV and movie screenplays to his credit.

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#BlogTour: Still Lives by Maria Hummel @MariaHummel2 @ellakroftpatel @QuercusBooks #StillLives #5Stars

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Book Synopsis:

Kim Lord’s face looked back at me, disguised in paint and the features of a murdered woman.

Revered artist Kim Lord is about to unveil her most shocking show yet: Still Lives, a series of self-portraits in which she impersonates the female victims of America’s most famous homicides, from Nicole Brown Simpson to the Black Dahlia.

As celebrities and rich patrons pour into L.A.’s Rocque Museum for the opening night, the attendees wait eagerly for Kim’s arrival. All except Maggie Richter, museum editor and ex-girlfriend of Greg Shaw Ferguson, Kim’s new boyfriend. But Kim never shows up to her party and the crowd’s impatience slowly turns to unease.

When Greg is arrested on suspicion of murder, it seems that life is imitating art. Has Kim suffered the same fate as the women in her paintings? As Maggie is drawn into an investigation of her own, she uncovers dark and deadly truths that will change her life forever…

Perfect for fans of Perfect for fans of Gone GirlSharp Objects and Big Little Lies

Still Lives is available in all formats now, purchase your copy here.

My Review:

Still lives is a brilliant book that is guaranteed to keep you up at night with its creepy, thrilling storyline!

Firstly I loved the setting of the book and the fabulous descriptions of the glamorous art world that Maggie works in.  The ideas that some of the designers come up with for the expeditions was fascinating to read about and I enjoyed trying to imagine them in my mind.  The setting for the Kim Lord expedition was an interesting one with the gritty street setting complimenting the macabre paintings nicely.

My favourite character was Maggie as I felt she seemed very normal and wasn’t full of herself like some of the other people she worked with.  The descriptions of her normal everyday life and her wish to just go home to read her book made me warm to her immediately as that is my perfect evening too.  I also felt a lot of sympathy for her regarding her ex Greg as she obviously still has feelings for him.

The murders mentioned in the book are real ones and some of the pictures used as inspiration for the paintings can be found on line which added a chilling, macabre feeling to the story.  It also helped me envision the paintings better and get a feeling for the impact they would have had on people viewing them.

The story is a bit of a slow burn but the creepy, unsettling feeling slowly increases until the book is very hard to put down.  I found I enjoyed the build up as it gave me more of an insight into the characters and I liked watching the investigation unfolding.

My only slight problem with the book was that there were a lot of characters introduced quite quickly which was hard to keep track of, especially regarding what their roles were in the art gallery . I found myself flipping back the pages a few times to check who they were. This didn’t stop my enjoyment of the book but i did feel it could have done with a character list at the front that readers could refer to.

This is the author’s first thriller and the first book that I have read by her. I definitely will look forward to reading more from her in the future.  This book was recently included as a pick in Reese Witherspoon’s book club and I do think it would make a fantastic book club book as there is lots to discuss.

Huge thanks to Ella from Quercus publishers for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.  If you like chilling, unsettling and addictive thrillers then you’ll love this book.

About The Author:

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Maria Hummel is the author of Still Lives, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, a Book of the Month Club pick, and top new summer read byTime. She has also published the novelMotherland, a SF Chronicle Book of the Year; and the poetry collection  House and Fire, winner of the APR/Honickman prize.

She worked as a writer/editor at MOCA in Los Angeles, then received a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and taught there for many years. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Vermont, and lives in Vermont with her husband and sons.

(Author picture and bio taken from the Author’s website)

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#BlogTour: That Deplorable Boy by Jasper Barry #ThatDeplorableBoy #RachelsRandomResources @JasperBarry2 @rararesources

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Book Synopsis:

The long-awaited follow-up to The Second Footman.
A modern take on the nineteenth-century novel, set in 1880s’ France and full of period detail and atmosphere.

Who is Max Fabien? Is he the loyal secretary and faithful lover of the marquis de Miremont? Or a handsome but unscrupulous trickster, who regards lying as an accomplishment and any sexual quarry as fair game?

Miremont’s heart says one thing, his jealousy another. But his obsessive passion for the boy must remain a dark secret—no easy task when his estranged wife and their younger daughter arrive in Paris for a prolonged visit.

Soon the strain begins to tell. The Hôtel de Miremont becomes a hive of gossip, mistrust, intrigue and deceit, and Miremont is faced with an impossible choice.

Meanwhile the grim secrets of Max’s past continue to haunt him. Has the time come for him to claim his not-so-rightful destiny?

That Deplorable Boy is the second book of the Miremont trilogy, charting the course of a gay love affair between an aristocrat and a former servant in late 19th-century France. Rich in period detail and set in the grand châteaux of Paris and Burgundy, the novels explore the suffocating social codes of the time and the conflicts and dangers they bring for those who must live outside them.

The Second Footman is available now in ebook and paperback, purchase your copy here.

My Review:

That Deplorable Boy is the second book in the Miremont trilogy. It’s fun, exciting historical fiction which was a fantastic read.

Firstly the author does a great job, again, of setting the scene so that the reader really feels like they are in nineteenth century France.  The descriptions of the class hierarchy and beliefs at that time down to the little details about the way of life then are brilliantly, though subtly, included into the narrative.

I really liked the main character Max as I thought he was a loveable rouge who you can’t help but like.  I felt a lot of sympathy with him regarding the situation he finds himself in and him having to deal with his wife and daughter when they arrive.  I did wish he would stand up to everyone a bit more, especially his wife, but I don’t think he could because of the ridgid social class hierarchy.  His wife and daughter were highly annoying characters who did grate on me.  I didn’t fully understand why they wanted to make this is so difficult for Max when it could have serious consequences.  I was a little confused why his daughter wanted to marry her dad too as that seemed a bit weird to me and I wondered if she had an ulterior motive.

The book is full of jealousy which causes a lot of suspense in the novel and made sure it was hard to put down as I wanted to know what would happen.  The book picks up more about half way through when his wife and daughter arrive as the stakes and risk become much higher.

As mentioned above this is the second book in the series and it is probably best to read the books in order as this one carries on where the other book finished with not much of a recap.  The investigation Max goes on towards the end would also make more sense if you’ve read the first book as some of the clues were mentioned in there.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.  If you like exciting, sexy historical fiction you’ll love this book.

About The Author:

Jasper Barry has worked in advertising and journalism and has also been from childhood an addicted reader – to a consuming passion for literature add a thirty-year commitment to studying European history.

Barry’s fondness for nineteenth century novels has inspired the Miremont trilogy, three books set in Belle Époque France and structured like nineteenth century novels, with the characters trying to navigate a strict class system and a rigid moral code. But there’s a contemporary twist – the two protagonists are gay and must face the perils and conflicts of living their true lives outside society’s rules.

Of course, the period detail must be authentic, so Barry is a keen and constant researcher, for instance learning Latin to translate the Catullus poems that feature in the books, as well as learning to ride and having a go at fencing with foils. And naturally, the Miremont trilogy is a great excuse for frequent visits to Paris. Volume One, The Second Footman, and Volume Two, That Deplorable Boy, are done – Barry is now writing Volume Three.

 

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#BlogTour: Picking Up The Pieces by Joanne Worgan @JoanneWorgan @Urbanebooks

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Book Synopsis:

A compelling and emotive story about a mother’s unbreakable love for her autistic son.

Kate has a six-year-old autistic son, Sam. Having started a new life to escape her controlling and abusive boyfriend Jake, Kate believes the past is behind her and that she and Sam are safe.

But after spotting Jake through a misted-up cafe window, she knows that her previous life has found her.

Kate confides in her new neighbour Matt, a man running from his own secrets. He seems to offer a genuine chance at happiness for Kate and her son, but Jake is determined to get them back at all costs….

Picking Up The Pieces is an original, moving and gripping page-turner about a woman’s search for happiness as she fights to protect her autistic son’s future.

Picking Up The Pieces is available in ebook and paperback now.  The ebook is currently only 99p, but you can purchase a copy of both here.

My Review:

Picking up the pieces is an emotional and compelling story about a mother’s love for her son.

I absolutely adored Sam he was a wonderful character that I grew very fond of.  The descriptions of him dealing with everyday life were very poignant to read about and made me wish I could give him a huge hug!  The relationship that develops between Matt and him was lovely to read about.  I really enjoyed watching it develop and it was very sweet to see how sweet Matt is to him.

Jake was a character I loved to hate and I was really hoping he would be unsuccessful in his quest to win Kate and Sam back.  He provides some of the thrilling moments in the book as he tries to track down Kate & Sam as I was never sure what his plan would be when he found them.

This is a well written book that draws you in from the first page with the intriguing opening and the wonderful descriptions of Kate & Sam’s relationship.  I definitely had a lump in my throat whilst reading some of these passages and was immediately on their side.  The story unfolds slowly at first but gets faster as Jake gets nearer.  I flew through the pages as I desperately wanted to make sure they got the happy ending I felt they deserved.

This is the first book by this author I have read and I’d definitely like to read more from her in the future.  If you like emotional, heartwarming stories then you’ll love this book.

Huge thanks to Kelly from Love Books Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

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Jo Worgan is a freelance copywriter, columnist and book blogger. She has published 4 non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. Writing is what she truly loves, and Picking up the Pieces is her second novel following her first, An Unextraordinary Life. Today Jo lives in Lancashire with her husband of 19 years and their two young sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, cinema, the Lake District and lots of playgrounds

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#BlogTour #GuestPost: The Haunted Broch by Wendy H. Jones @WendyHJones @LoveBooksGroup #TheHauntedBroch #LoveBooksGroup

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Book Synopsis:

A Scottish Broch.

An archaeologist scorned.

A ghost disturbed.

The Detective Duo, Fergus and Flora, are spending their summer on an archaeological dig, searching for the Lost Broch.

But someone—or something—seems set on sabotaging the project. An infestation of spiders—a swarm of mice—the campsite trashed—who knew archaeology could be so dangerous?

And is the Lost Broch really under a curse?

The Haunted Broch is available in ebook and paperback now, you can purchase your copy of both here.

Guest Post:

Inspiration Through Books that Inspired me as a Child
I have always been a reader. My mother, showing admiral patience, taught me to read when I was three. This was probably inspired by a family of voracious readers. An only child I was left to read pretty much when and what I wanted. This suited me down to the ground as I was a bookworm from the get-go.

I read most of the classics by the time I was ten. I was given a set of children’s classics for my Christmas one year. It turned out these were the real McCoy just with children’s covers. Not knowing any better I read them all. Dickens, Austin, Thackery, the lot. I also read books such as the Milly Molly Mandy series, The Folk of the Faraway Tree, the Cherry Ames and Sue Barton Nursing series and any Chalet School books I could get my hands on.

Through all this my favourites were always the mysteries. I’ve read every Famous Five, Secret Seven, Hard Boys and who could forget Nancy Drew. They always seemed to lead such exciting lives and no one seemed to care what they got up to. They ran wild, within certain parameters, and were the only people who could solve a mystery. What a fabulous way to spend your summer holidays.

I wanted to bring elements of this into a contemporary series. Obviously, my characters, Fergus and Flora, are modern teens and their temperaments and characters reflect this. However, I also wanted it to be a bit Famous Five meets Scooby Doo for an older and more modern, age range.

In the Haunted Broch Fergus and Flora are spending their summer on an archaeological dig at Scotland’s Lost Broch. The lost Broch is a real one which was first discovered by a Victorian spinster called Christian Maclagan. When she reported it to the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland, they gave her short shrift because she was a woman. She couldn’t be a fellow as she wasn’t a fellow. Therefore, the broch was never excavated. It has recently been found again. In the book, no sooner do our intrepid investigators get there than ghostly goings on and dastardly deeds occur. It would appear Christian is not happy with her broch being disturbed. Or is that the case? Fergus and Flora set out on a madcap trail to find out who, or what, is disturbing their dig.

I’m excited that I’ve been able to follow in the footsteps of some of my favourite authors from my childhood. Here’s to spending time doing things you love – like reading, reliving our childhood or solving a mystery.

Thanks so much Wendy for this great guest post.  I always enjoy seeing what books inspired writers!

Author Bio

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Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August 2017. The Dagger’s Curse, the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults, was a finalist in the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year.
The first book in her new series, Cass Claymore Investigates, was released in August 2018 and her first children’s picture book, Bertie the Buffalo was released at the beginning of November 2018

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#BlogTour: Death Comes In The Kitchen by Teresa Dovalpage @Dovalpage @rararesources #DeathComesInTheKitchen

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Book Synopsis:

Don’t let the authentic Cuban recipes fool you: This is no cozy mystery. Set in Havana during the Black Spring of 2003, a charming but poison-laced culinary mystery reveals the darker side of the modern Revolution.

Matt, a San Diego journalist, arrives in Havana to marry his girlfriend, Yarmila, a 24-year-old Cuban woman whom he first met through her food blog. But Yarmi isn’t there to meet him at the airport, and when he hitches a ride to her apartment, he finds her lying dead in the bathtub.

With Yarmi’s murder, lovelorn Matt is immediately embroiled in a Cuban adventure he didn’t bargain for. The police and secret service have him down as their main suspect, and in an effort to clear his name, he must embark on his own investigation into what really happened. The more Matt learns about his erstwhile fiancée, though, the more he realizes he had no idea who she was at all–but did anyone?

Death Comes In Throughout The Kitchen us available in hardback now and in paperback on the 25th April 2019. You can purchase or pre-order your copy here.

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My Review:

Death Comes In The Kitchen Door is a fascinating, cosy mystery set in Cuba which is guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling!

I haven’t read many novels that are set in Cuba so this, along with my mum just having visited the country, interested me from the start.  I loved the vivid, colourful descriptions of the beauty of cuba and found it fascinating to learn more about it’s recent history.  It was especially interesting to learn more about what daily life was like in Cuba as it’s still quite a secretive country.

My favourite character was Yarmi as I loved her vibrant blog posts about her food.  Her enthusiasm was infectious and her recipes sounded so delicious that I would definitely like to try some Cuban food in the future.  I wasn’t too sure about the main character Matt at the beginning of the book as he came across as quite brash and arrogant but he grew on me as his travels through the country seemed to take the edge off him.

The murder mystery was very intriguing, well plotted and quite fast paced.  I liked how the investigation was mixed in with Yarmi’s food blog as that help to keep my interest and gave me more of an insight into what type of person she was.

This is the author’s debut book and I’d definitely be interested in reading more from her in the future, especially if the books are set in Cuba again.  If you like cosy murder mysteries with a culinary twist then you’ll love this book.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

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About The Author:

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Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1966. She earned her BA in English literature and an MA in Spanish literature at the University of Havana, and her PhD in Latin American literature at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of twelve other works of fiction and three plays, and is the winner of the Rincón de la Victoria Award and a finalist for the Herralde Award. She lives in New Mexico.

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#BlogTour #Extract: Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson @JuliaIbbotson @Endeavour_Media @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksGroup #FindingJesz

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Good evening everyone I’m on the blog tour for Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson I have a great extract to share with you all.

Finding Jess is available now in paperback and ebook, purchase your copy here.

Before I share the extract with you here is a little bit about the book.

Book Synopsis:

Single mum Jess has had her world turned upside down. Now it’s about to be turned inside out.

Jess has got a tough life back on track after love-of-her-life husband Simon walked out on her and their beautiful young daughters Katy and Abi. But she has long-time friend and confidante Polly to turn to…until Polly and Simon start having an affair together.

When Polly decides to apply for a job at Jess’s school, in the English department, Jess feels threatened. So why has Polly set her sights on the department head’s role? And why is the school now offering Jess a sideways ‘promotion’?

Jess can no longer trust anyone – including herself. Then out of the blue she is mysteriously sent a clipping for a temporary post in the Ministry of Education in Ghana, where she did a gap year as a teenager, and where she was happy. She is on the brink of losing everything at home but could this be a lifeline?

Julia Ibbotson’s Finding Jess is a passionate study of love and betrayal – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust after suffering great misfortune. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.

Extract:
Chapter One: January 1990 – Before
“Please forgive me! I don’t know why I did it, I must have been mad. Oh god, Jess, can you ever forgive me?”
Jess looked at the tense huddled figure on the doorstep. She watched the tears coursing down the pale face before her, fair fringe plastered to her brow, eyes red and bulging, hands threaded through the straps of the hobo bag and clasped together at her chest. A study in tension and grief. What could she say? Could she ever forgive? All that had happened flooded back into her mind, events and emotions she had fought off for years and thought that they were past and that she was over it all. She touched the door lintel to try to steady herself.
Where was the attractive stylish blonde, the confident self-assured woman she had known as her best friend, before … before …?
Yet Jess noted the expensive designer jeans she wore and the draped silky top.
“You’d better come in,” she said with a grimace and led her visitor through the tiny narrow hall to the bijou living room. She liked the word ‘bijou’; it sounded better in her mind than small and cramped.
She moved her daughter’s school bag off the battered armchair, gestured to Polly to sit and perched herself on the sofa, back stiff and upright as if she was ready for flight at the first sign of anything untoward. Yet this was someone with whom she had shared so much, university, work, marriage, having children.
And a husband. Simon, who had been her soul mate …

Chapter Two: Ghosts
Jess slept fitfully that night, her mind in turmoil. So Polly had left Simon; he was unfaithful to her too. And now she had decided to return to Matt and the bosom of her family, her boys. The boys she had deserted. Did she even know (she must do!) that she, Jess, and Matt had … If they had imagined that Polly would return … of course they wouldn’t have …
The past was coming back to haunt her again, when she had imagined that she had organised her life in some kind of order, making the best of things, got life on an even keel. Now it had started up again, that insecurity, that confusion, those ghosts of the past. Just like in Ghana all those years ago. And then, long after Ghana, just like that dreadful night when it all went disastrously wrong …
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On that night, in 1986, so long ago, on their wedding anniversary, lying next to her beloved Simon, listening to his breathing, loving him yet somehow afraid, she had held her hands up over her face trying to blank out the rhythmic rising and falling of sounds in the heavy darkness, that sense of imminent danger. She had no idea what was about to happen to them, to her much-loved family, but somehow it reminded her so vividly of that time in Ghana, and those portentous drumbeats … they were haunting her again, whatever they meant …
… the whispering souls and spirits calling to her across the bush; the surging and dying of the wind on the night air, the insistent beat of the kpanlogo djembe. Once more, her dreams were garish and crowded as they had been there. And she remembered that haunting. What was it that felt so ominous now?
Eventually, exhausted, she had slept, but it was restless and in the morning she had struggled out of bed feeling as though she had the worst hangover ever. Simon was already up and she could hear him downstairs as she went for her shower.
“Katy! Abi! Are you both up?” she had called.
“Yes, I’m getting dressed and Katy’s gone down.”
After her shower she had sunk onto the stool at the dressing table and peered at her drawn features. Her eyes looked puffy and sore. Right. Makeup out, let’s get respectable. Paint a decent face on …
As she swept brown eyeliner across her eyes, she became aware that he was standing in the bedroom doorway, a sense of agitation emanating from him. She could almost smell the sweat. She looked up and saw that he was leaning against the lintel staring at her. It was not a loving stare but a troubled, frowning one and she knew that he needed to tell her something that she wasn’t going to like. She knew him so well. Some money problem? Work? He wanted to resign from his job and let her to be the breadwinner? Oh dear – she hoped not. She didn’t have the years of promotions behind her to stand keeping the family on her income. But he had threatened that so many times.
She raised her eyebrows enquiringly. He shifted from foot to foot in the doorway and Jess began to feel very uneasy. Her hand trembled and she dripped the liquid eyeliner onto the dressing table.
“I have to tell you,” he said with a slow intake of breath, those fatal, unimaginable, alien words that would haunt her forever. “I’m leaving you.”
“What?” She hadn’t expected that. Her heart fell, tumbling to inexorable death.
“You heard me,” Simon snapped, his face suddenly contorted. “I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a husband and father any more.”
“Decided …? What on earth do you mean?”

About The Author:

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Acclaimed, best selling and award-winning author, Julia Ibbotson says that she loves curling up with a good book by the fire (or in the Madeiran sunshine!) and of course, writing. Find her at http://www.juliaibbotsonauthor.com

An author and academic, Julia also loves travel, choral singing, cooking for family and friends, country walks, and swimming – and has a fondness for Earl Grey tea with homemade sticky ginger flapjacks for afternoon tea in the garden.

She is fascinated by the early medieval world and by the concept of time, and spends many a happy hour researching these areas for her books. Hence her medieval historical novel A Shape on the Air and her fantasy medieval children’s novel S.C.A.R.S, which both revolve around time-slip. She studied Anglo-Saxon language, literature and history at university and is currently reviewing recent research into the Dark Ages.

Julia has also written the Drumbeats trilogy, the first of which is Drumbeats, the story of love and tragedy set in 1960s West Africa against the backdrop of civil war. It’s available on Amazon, as are all her books. The second in the trilogy, Walking in the Rain, deals with some harsh realities of relationships, and the third, Finding Jess, sees her protagonist finding closure and resolution.

She is also the writer of the best selling memoir and history of the kitchen: The Old Rectory: escape to a country kitchen, which is about the renovation of an English Victorian rectory, and about finding what’s important in life, with recipes to feed the soul at the end of each chapter.

In her life as a university lecturer, Dr Ibbotson has published many academic papers and books, mainly in the field of linguistics, education, gender, management and leadership.

#BlogTour: Bertie The Buffalo by Wendy H. Jones @WendyHJones @malcolmdown @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksGroupTours #BertieTheBuffalo

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Book Synopsis:

Bertie the Buffalo is based on a true story of when a Water Buffalo escaped from a Buffalo Park in Fife, near Dundee, Scotland.

A rhyming book about the adventures Bertie got up to and how he safely returned home, demonstrating how important each of us is no matter how insignificant we feel.

Bertie felt that no one noticed him. But he didn’t need to think that as we are all special. We are all a part of one big family.  

Bertie The Buffalo is published in paperback on the 16th November, pre-order your copy here.

My Review:

Bertie the Buffalo is a wonderful children’s story about a very cute buffalo that my kid’s absolutely loved.  It has taken pride of place in my daughter’s book shelf and she has asked for it as her bedtime story the last three nights, so I think I will soon know it off by heart!

The book is beautifully illustrated with lovely bright illustrations that help bring the story to life and helped keep my kids interest.  They enjoyed looking at them and finding out all the smaller details that were included, like rabbits etc.  My six year old liked reading the small speech bubbles on each page too which helped boast his reading confidence.

The story is very easy to follow and the lovely rhyming words are always a huge hit with my children.  Rhyming stories help children with their reading as it helps them to pick up sounds within words so, as well as being a great story, it is also educational!

There is a lovely message to this story about how everyone is special no matter how small.  My six year old had a different slant on it that kids were able to have adventures knowing that they always had a safe place to go which I thought was really lovely.  He also said that the ending was his favourite bit as Bertie got home safely to his family.

Huge thanks to Kelly from Love Books Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and to the Publisher for our copy of this book.

About The Author:

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Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August, 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.
She is currently writing a new series called, Cass Claymore Investigates. The first book. Antiques and Alibis will be released in January

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#BlogTour: No Time To Cry by James Oswald @SirBenfro @headlinepg @jenniferleech1 @Wildfirebks @annecater #NoTimeToCry #RandomThingsTours #5Stars #MustRead

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Book Synopsis:

Undercover ops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.

Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.

In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.

There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.

No place to cry is available in ebook and paperback now, purchase your copy here.

My Review:

No Time To Cry is a fantastic start to a new series by James Oswald, an author I’ve heard lots about but have never read until now.

The story starts straight away with one of the most hard hitting openings I’ve read.  I felt immediately drawn into the story and the action, intrigued as to what happenned.   What follows is a very action packed, dark novel which is quite gruesome in places.  Oswald definitely knows how to set a scene and the graphic descriptions made the story seem very real. I definitely found myself holding my breath at times and not just because of the fascinating story line but sometimes to try and process what I was reading.

I loved the main character Constant Fairchild who seemed a very capable, strong police officer.  I found I really admired the strength and determination she showed trying to find out what happened against all odds.  I was on her side the whole way through the book hoping she would be successful and prove her superiors wrong.

This is the first book by this author I have read, which I seriously can’t believe as I thought the writing and story was superb! I’ve already ordered some more books from him and I’m so excited to read those too.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Jenni from Wildfire for my copy of this book.  If you like fast paced, gritty crime novels then you’ll love this book!

 

About The Author

James Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries. The first two of these, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. Set in an Edinburgh not so different to the one we all know, Detective Inspector Tony McLean is the unlucky policeman who can see beneath the surface of ordinary criminal life to the dark, menacing evil that lurks beneath.

As J D Oswald, James has also written a classic fantasy series, The Ballad of Sir Benfro. Inspired by the language and folklore of Wales, it follows the adventures of a young dragon, Sir Benfro, in a land where his kind have been hunted near to extinction by men. The whole series is now available in print, ebook and audio formats.

James has pursued a varied career – from Wine Merchant to International Carriage Driving Course Builder via Call Centre Operative and professional Sheep Shit Sampler (true). He moved out of the caravan when Storm Gertrude blew the Dutch barn down on top of it, and now lives in a proper house with three dogs, two cats and a long-suffering partner. He farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

 

 

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#BlogTour: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusFiction @QuercusBooks @MeadOlivia #TheStrangerDiaries

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Book Synopsis:

A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries: Susan Hill meets Gone Girl and Disclaimer.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

The Stranger Diaries is available in ebook and hardback now, you can purchase your copy here.

My Review:

I’m a huge fan of any mystery or thriller that evolves around a book so The Stranger Diaries intrigued me from the start.  I love the idea of a book holding clues to a mystery that’s happening in the present so this book was a big hit with me!

I wasn’t sure about the main character Claire.  On one hand she seemed very sassy and I found some of her observations very amusing.  However she seemed like an unreliable narrator as she kept lying to the police which made me question her motives.

This book is fairly fast paced as there is always something happening.  That along with a creepy school, an old mystery and a murderer who starts to emulate the plot of a book and things start getting very thrilling very quickly.  I soon found myself tearing through the pages and trying to hide from the kids to read a little more.

I’ve read quite a few books by Elly and I really enjoy her original thrillers!  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Huge thanks to Quercus publishers for my copy of this book via Netgalley and to Olivia from Quercus for inviting me into the blog tour.  If you like dark, thrilling mysteries then you’ll love this book!

About The Author:

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Elly Griffiths was born in London. The inpsiration for her books about forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway came from her husband who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist. Elly lives near Brighton but often spends holidays on the wild Norfolk coast. She has two children and a cat.

 

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