Posted in book review, book tour, fantasy

BOOK TOUR – The Library of the Dead by T.L Huchu

Published 4th Feb 2021 by Pan Macmillan

SYNOPSIS

When ghosts talk, she will listen . . .

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

Posted in book tour, fiction, thriller

The Island by C.L Taylor

Published by HQ YA (Jan 2021 -UK)

Synopsis

Welcome to The Island.

Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

Posted in book tour, non fiction

Book Tour – The Kindness Journal

Thank you to @lovebookstours for my gifted copy for the tour!

This little book is filled with little things to do every day and encourages you to think about kindness – what you think it is and how you pass it on – what are your expectations in regards to kindness?

Obviously there is an importance in being kind to others but you also need to be kind to yourself and Thurston really breaks it down with tips on what to change in your daily life so you can do both!

My favourite tip included in the book has been thinking about my screen time. I’ve got back on the forest app and I’m really trying to reduce my time on my phone and laptop which really helps me focus – I actually read a whole book in a day which I haven’t done for a long time.

My favourite quote from the book is “Comparison is the Thief of Joy” – so true! I think this is especially important for users of social media, comparing yourself to someone else is a guaranteed way of putting you in a down mood (and it’s hard to stop, but you can do it!).

I’d recommend you get this book to cultivate your own kindness habits and see how it improves your physical and mental health and also check out the charity 52 Lives!

Posted in book review, book tour, fantasy, fiction

Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings

Released by HQ in the UK on 7th January 2021

Synopsis

Her destiny was death. The shadows brought her back.

Wrongly accused of her brother’s murder, Sonara’s destiny was to die, sentenced to execution by her own mother. Punished and left for dead, the shadows have cursed her with a second life as a Shadowblood, cast out and hunted by society for her demon-like powers.

Now known as the Devil of the Deadlands, Sonara survives as a thief on the edge of society, fighting for survival on a quest to uncover what really happened to her brother and whether he is even dead at all…

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction

Book Tour! Beneath a Starless Sky by Tessa Harris

Published by HQ – December 9th 2020

Synopsis

A forbidden romance…
Munich 1930 Jewish ballet dancer Lilli Sternberg longs to escape the rising Nazi menace. But a whirl-wind romance with a promising young army officer, Captain Marco Zeiller, puts her Hollywood dreams on hold – until her heart is broken.

A dream shattered….
Making it to Hollywood, Lilli dances with the legendary Fred Astaire, who introduces her to high society and the heir to the British throne, Prince Edward. But when injury ends her film career, Edward and his American mistress, Wallis Simpson, both Nazi sympathisers, have other plans for Lilli.

A final chance to save her loved-ones and change the course of history…
As war looms and Marco Zeiller, now working for Goebbels, re-enters her life, Lilli’s loyalties are tested as one by one her family falls prey to Nazi terror. Against all odds, can Lilli save her family and foil Hitler’s plot to kidnap Edward?

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, thriller

Book Tour – All Your Little Lies by Marianne Holmes

Published by Agora Books – October 2020

Agora Books kindly sent me a review copy of All Your Little Lies so that I could take part in the Book Tour!

Synopsis

Annie lives a quiet, contained, content life. She goes to work. She meets her friend. She’s kind of in a relationship. She’s happy. Not lonely at all.

If only more people could see how friendly she is — how eager to help and please. Then she could tick “Full Happy Life” off her list. But no one sees that side of Annie, and she can’t understand why.

That all changes the night Chloe Hills disappears. And Annie is the last person to see her.

This is her chance to prove to everybody that she’s worth something. That is, until she becomes a suspect.

Review

**My tour stop day was Sunday the 18th of October but I was having technical difficulties – I’m hoping this posts okay today!**

I really enjoyed this book! Marianne Holmes’ writing style is pretty to the point – no flowery descriptions here which means she has words to spare to really get into the mindset of Annie in All Your Little Lies – the journey was really fascinating for me as I could see Annie’s logical conclusions but also I found her very unreliable as a narrator – I was so conflicted!

Annie lives alone and doesn’t have a lot of friends – from the start I could see Annie was insecure and didn’t fit in too well, probably due to some anxiety from her past – this made me question everything she did and said. Also the title of the book – All Your Little Lies – I loved how this made me view Annie, she constantly told little fibs – like children do to make themselves look better and when she got involved with the policy after a child goes missing I could see her getting into soo much trouble!

Alongside the current story there is a backstory which gives you an insight into how Annie’s mind works and events from her past – this was a really good tool for Holmes to use and I’m glad it was included!

My only drawback was I found myself dropping out of concentration – Annie goes round in circles a lot which I just found didn’t hold my attention that well!

I’d recommend this one for fans of thrillers and psychological dramas – the writing style is easy to follow and the characters are realistic. Holmes uses dramatic events to bring Annie’s psyche out to be analysed although it did make me worry how much this happens in real life – so I’m going to be doing some research!

Thanks to Agora Books for the review copy – the book is out on kindle on 22nd October and is currently available to preorder for 99p here! The paperback is out on November 19th!

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, gifted

Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker

IMG_20200726_115133_702.jpg

Published by Agora Books – August 2020


I was sent an e-copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

All views are my own.


Synopsis

You can call me Ella. You generally assign me a whole host of other preposterous monikers. I think the least imaginative name I’ve heard is “the devil”, but I’ll answer to it if I must.

After making the courageous decision to leave her abusive husband, Perdie and her three young children start over and finally find the safety and love they deserve. But years later, when tragedy strikes, Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave has led them to this moment.

If she were given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she?

In a frantic bid to protect her family, Perdie makes a deal to do just that. But in a world where the devil pulls the strings, can Perdie really change the past?

Brimming with enlightened observations and brilliant voice, Idle Hands is a haunting examination of grief, resilience, and what we’d give to spend another moment with the ones we love.


Review

I loved this book! I can’t gush about it enough although it should come with trigger warnings for violence and abuse.

Idle Hands is so beautifully written, it kept me intrigued through the entire thing – I didn’t want to put it down and read it in two sittings which for me is high praise indeed! It’s no secret – I rated this 5 stars and have been recommending it to everyone. It is available on Amazon now (it’s even on Kindle Unlimited!)

Idle Hands uses an emotional and relatable story to examine ‘What Ifs’ through the life of Perdie and her two children. Perdie is haunted by the decision to leave her violent husband giving her the opportunity to see the other side of the choice. By using the perspective of Ella to question if we are truly in control and making us ask if things would be better through a different choice, the reader is sucked in and forced to confront if the grass ever is greener.

Ella is honest and brutal in her narrative and she makes reading Idle Hands a truly unique experience. I love stories like this anyway (Sliding Doors is a favourite!) but Idle Hands completely blew me away!

Read it now!

Goodreads Rating: 5 / 5

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, gifted

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor

IMG_20200728_141152_795.jpg

Published July 2020 by Simon & Schuster (Scribner UK)


I received this book to participate in the Kaleidoscopic Tours campaign on Bookstagram. Please hop over there and check it out plus the other reviewers involved!


Synopsis

July, 1962

Sixteen year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become?

The fastest milk bottle-delivery girl in East Yorkshire, Evie is tall as a tree and hot as the desert sand. She dreams of an independent life lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). The two posters of Adam Faith on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’) offer wise counsel about a future beyond rural East Yorkshire. Her role models are Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and the Queen. But, before she can decide on a career, she must first deal with the malign presence of her future step-mother, the manipulative and money-grubbing Christine.

If Evie can rescue her bereaved father, Arthur, from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches, and save the farmhouse from being sold off then maybe she can move on with her own life and finally work out exactly who it is she is meant to be.  

Moving, inventive and richly comic, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is the most joyful debut novel of the year and the best thing to have come out of Yorkshire since Wensleydale cheese.


Review

I read this pretty much in one sitting – right from the opening chapter (hilarious by the way) the reader gets a fantastic sense of Evie Epworth. Told in first person, with dollops of wit, you can really get into her headspace which is: teenager, finishing school, no idea what to do now type worries. School? Librarian? Vet? Evie is a strong willed young woman who knows full well what she doesn’t want to do however which only adds fuel to the fire with her new soon to be stepmother, who just wants Evie out of the way.

Getting pure Cinderella vibes from this (which is acknowledged in the narrative) however I loved how Evie didn’t need a prince to come and save her. Instead she rallies up friends and neighbours to help -I think my favourite character was Evie’s next door neighbour, Mrs Scott-Pym who has all of the secrets and all of the sage-advice that every teenage girl needs in her life. Their relationship was really heartwarming for me and made Evie even more relatable to a lot of readers, the Yorkshire setting really highlighted the rural lifestyle and Evie’s desire to want more especially when she begins learning about her mother’s life.

Evie is the embodiment of a typical teenage girl in my opinion – enjoys cake, biscuits, reading, pop singers – I loved it when The Beatles got involved – what a fabulous soundtrack! I wish I had been a teenager in the 60’s! Evie is headstrong but also clumsy and not afraid to try – a wonderful role model! I was gutted to finish reading this and I really hope that there’s more – even if it’s not Evie – maybe her best friend Margaret who I didn’t feel got enough page time!

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is a wonderful coming-of-age tale has become one of my favourites this year and is available on Kindle and Hardback now!

Goodreads Rating 5 / 5

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, gifted

Book Tour! The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days by Juliet Conlin

20200726_190657.png

Published by Black & White Publishing in February 2017!


Today is my stop on the Book Tour for this wonderful novel! Thanks so much to Love Books Group for having me along again, after reading Sisters of Berlin I couldn’t not sign up for The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days and I was NOT disappointed!


Synopsis

Approaching 80, frail and alone, a remarkable man makes the journey from his sheltered home in England to Berlin to meet his granddaughter. He has six days left to live and must relate his life story before he dies…

His life has been rich and full. He has witnessed first-hand the rise of the Nazis, experienced heartrending family tragedy, fought in the German army, been interred in a POW camp in Scotland and faced violent persecution in peacetime Britain. But he has also touched many lives, fallen deeply in love, raised a family and survived triumphantly at the limits of human endurance. He carries within him an astonishing family secret that he must share before he dies…a story that will mean someone else s salvation.

Welcome to the moving, heart-warming and uncommon life of Alfred Warner.


Review

Ahhh as I said above after reading Sisters of Berlin (also with Love Books Group) when I saw the offer to read The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days also by Juliet Conlin I couldn’t say no and I have to say I think I may have enjoyed it even more!

While the story starts off slow and it took me a while to get to grips with the points of view, once I got to 20% I was hooked and couldn’t put it down! This story was so lovely. Alfred shot straight to my heart with his story from growing up in Germany, his childhood torn apart when his parents passed away leaving him orphaned in Berlin; to being conscripted in the war, living in the UK and then heading back to Berlin as an old man I just wanted to know everything about his story.

The story introduces Alfred as he has traveled to Berlin to meet his grand-daughter. When she doesn’t meet him at the station as promised – Alfred meets Julia, who ends up listening to Alfred’s story over six days. Between the chapters telling Alfred’s story, we also get chapters focusing on Julia and on Brynja. Julia, who almost takes the place of the reader – learning Alfred’s story and dealing with her own circumstances whilst becoming the bridge between him and his grand-daughter. Brynja also has some chapters focusing on herself, but to me they were confusing and kind of complicated (they are supposed to be) which is what took me a while to get into contact with when I started reading.

The words ‘listen closely’ are written on the cover of this novel and they couldn’t be more apt for this narrative. In part they relate to the story that Alfred needs Julia to hear but they also relate to the voices which Alfred hears of three women. He is told as a child that the ability is passed down in his family. The voices are a character themselves and their words intercept seamlessly into the narrative which works to more closely enfold the reader into the tale Alfred is telling.

Juliet Conlin has fast become as author I need to get more of! I’m going to be hnting down all of her novels! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner is heartbreaking and heartwarming all in one and is actually on Kindle Unlimited right now and also available in paperback and I urge you all to get yourselves a copy now so you can experience this special story first-hand.

Goodreads Rating 4 / 5

 

 

 

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, gifted

Book Tour! The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie

20200722_132512.png

Published July 21st by Vine Leaves Press


Today is my stop on the tour for The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie!

Thanks Love Books Tours for inviting me along and sending a review copy of the book!


Synopsis

A spiralling obsession. A missing wife. A terrifying secret. Will he find her before it’s too late?

When Dr Jacob Boyce’s wife goes missing, the police put it down to a simple marital dispute. Jacob, however, fears something darker. Following her trail to Spain, he becomes convinced that Ella’s disappearance is tied to a mysterious painting whose hidden geometric and numerical riddles he’s been obsessively trying to solve for months. Obscure, hallucinogenic clues, and bizarre, larger-than-life characters, guide an increasingly unhinged Jacob through a nightmarish Spanish landscape to an art forger’s studio in Madrid, where he comes face-to-face with a centuries-old horror, and the terrifying, mind-bending, truth about his wife.


Review

Wow, okay. This is going to be a really short review because it’s hard to talk about without ruining some detail of the story.

There are some aspects of The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce that I loved – it was mysterious, it bent genres and is probably the most creative book, in terms of content, that I’ve read this year. It is ambitious and it doesn’t hold back and that is amazing. By the end of the book I felt it covered a lot of ground in regards to dealing with grief and loss – hard topics to contain in the narrative!

However I did find that there were some things I didn’t enjoy which, while small, really affected my overall enjoyment of the story. I didn’t like Jacob, as a character I couldn’t get into his head and that really made me lose connection since we spent the entire novel following him – maybe this is intentional? He is strange after all. I also didn’t enjoy that amount of spanish in the novel – I have nothing against the language but to be honest, I don’t understand it so anything written in spanish was words I just skimmed over and it became another thing which kicked me out of connection with the narrative.

As you can see, these might be insignificant details to some people and I would always urge anyone to read something even if I took some negatives away. Parts of this novel I felt were very Da Vinci Code (I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed that book) and you can really feel the amount of research and work that went into the writing; Gillespie has a lot of talent in his writing style and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for his books in future.

The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce is available to buy now on kindle and in paperback.

All in all this book was definitely mind bending and I would urge fans of Blake Crouch and Stephen King to read it!

Goodreads Rating 3 / 5