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, fantasy, fiction, gifted

The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Published by Titan Books October 2020 (UK)

Titan Books sent me an e-copy of this book in exchange for a review!

Synopsis

An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke’s daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.

When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.

Review

In all honesty, when I first started this YA book, the opening chapter completely overwhelmed me – so much happened and Bartlett introduces such a rich world that I completely thought I wouldnt be continuing with the book … but I pushed myself to not judge by an opening and trust that the author would fill me in on all the details – and she did.

I really enjoyed the characters in The Winter Duke, Ekata was a great protagonist who I did root for – her decisions were human – sometimes reckless and other times calculated which really built her as a solid character. I enjoyed her choosing of a wife although felt the relationship part of the marriage was timid and more hinted at than actions – understandable given their age (sixteen I believe). Bartlett also includes a non-binary character who is quite important to the plot at one point so it was great to see some solid diversity in that respect.

The world was fantastic – I loved the idea of an underwater community living below an ice palace. The relationship between the two worlds is one of agreement – an exchange for the magic that the underwater dwellers can grow – I just found this totally unique and it took me by surprise!

Goodreads has this down as ‘part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia’ but I’m not completely on board with that – I think The Winter Duke was much more original. Bartlett uses russian style names and she has a very in-depth political plot running throughout the novel which although I found a little confusing, it did make sense and I really appreciated the detail involved.

Also – that cover! The US cover is a little different – I much prefer the UK choice – it reminds me of fairytales and folklore which is perfect!

Goodreads Rating: 4 / 5 stars!

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Tour- A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Published 2020 by Wednesday Books (St Martins)

Synopsis

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Review

Okay I really enjoyed this one! Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for the early e-arc provided for me to review!

A Golden Fury is Samantha Cohoe’s debut and it’s a good one! I am super impressed by this books story and characters. Thea was a strong lead who I definitely got behind right from the beginning. I also really liked Valentin (but I’m not sure if I was supposed to or not- ha!) He has hidden depths I think!

This was a really easy read for me, I read it quickly because the story was fast paced but smooth. I think the only downside for me was how short it was! I think Cohoe could have made the book twice as long, included more detail and I would have loved it a lot more! The story demands detail and unfortunately Cohoe just misses the mark because of their simpler writing style.

I would recommend this for anyone looking for a devourable and different YA novel, the genre overlaps Historical with a little Fantasy which was great 🙂

A Golden Fury is released in the US next week and the UK on November 1st!

Goodreads Rating: 3 / 5 (3.5)

Posted in book review, fiction

The Curse of the King by Winnie Lyon

Published September 1st 2020 by Parliament House Press

Synopsis

Laura Wilson is the heir to an ancient curse.

As a young witch descending from the very powerful trio of witches that had cursed Macbeth, the pressure she faces daily is non-stop. When Laura is forced to participate in her school’s rendition of the classic play, she gives herself a single task: breaking the curse once and for all.

This task proves itself to be more difficult than she ever could have imagined when a miscast spell leads to the summoning of her dead ancestor, Cecily Wilson, one of the very witches that cursed Macbeth.

As Laura attempts to send her resurrected relative back beyond the veil, she is faced with one of the harsh realities of high school—having a crush on her best friend, Holly. However, things only get more complicated as Holly pines after Peter, a lonely, quick-witted vampire.

While she grows closer to Cecily, Laura sees first-hand the true horrors of being a witch in Elizabethan England as demonic forces arise in her little town of Shipley Hollow.

Can Laura break the curse and save her family name before the curtains rise on opening night?

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Tour – Unravelled by Briony Marshall

Published by The Writing Hall

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for a review as part of Love Books Tours 🙂

Synopsis

“For crying out loud! I can’t even cast on now.”

Claire has never unravelled anything before, being a confident knitter. But now, to her dismay, everything she creates is a disaster, riddled with dropped stitches and glaring holes. It’s almost as if her hands have a mind of their own. Maybe it’s because her longest relationship to date has just ended, or perhaps it has something to do with the fact her career is on the ropes.

“Don’t get frustrated with your needles! The problem lies with the knitter, not the knitting,” said Adrian, owner of Oddballs wool shop. Following his advice, in the desperate hope it will cure her woolly woes, Claire begins to turn her life around. Her grand plan involves FishTank, the online dating site. She convinces Adrian that if they sign up and find love, their problems will be solved (and she’ll have at least one area of her life sorted!). The trouble starts when he has far more luck in the romance department than she does.

But it’s little wonder Claire can’t throw herself into dating. She’s already found her perfect match.

A must-read for avid knitters and those with a passion for crafting, this comical yarn will melt any reader’s heart.

Will they? Won’t they? Romance enthusiasts will be rooting for the pair to be knitted together, forever!

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, gifted

Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker

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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, gifted, non fiction

Book Tour – World’s Apart by Ronan Brady

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Published 2020 by Mercier Press


Hola!

Today is my stop on the tour for World’s Apart by Ronan Brady, organised by the lovely Kelly at Love Books Group. I want to thank everyone for letting me join in on this one – as a budding aerialist, it was great to read about Ronan’s experiences becoming an aerialist  in Ireland even though he does at one point claim that meat hooks are ‘the most basic aerial manoeuvre you can imagine’ … hmm I’ll have to disagree there!


From the Back Cover

‘Ronan is emblematic of how Ireland has changed.’ – Panti Bliss
At just under six foot in his socks and weighing in at fourteen stone, Ronan Brady is a solid slab of rarest Roscommon meat. He has a natural tendency to throw himself about – some would say recklessly, others would say enthusiastically – into whatever he sets himself to. Ronan had a ‘normal’ childhood in Roscommon and knew by the time he was a teenager that when he grew up he wanted to play football for his county and become a teacher. Ronan had achieved his life ambition when he took up ‘Flying’ as a hobby. A hobby that transformed his life and took him to heights he never dreamed of, performing in the smash hit show Riot alongside Panti Bliss, and going on to tour the world. Worlds Apart is an open, humorous account of Ronan’s life journey.


An Extract

There was a house there for him. All he needed to do was show up, reconnect the heating and reconnect the electricity and he could live in his own way, but he could do it near us.
When we did see him, it was hard not to sense a pride emanating from him for having gone this far, for having taken himself so firmly off the grid, for having successfully managed to fall between the cracks and evade the attention of whoever was supposed to be watching him; be that the state, or us, or his own demons chasing him from the past lives he’d lived.

And then he died. And that was the end of all of that. It happened when I was abroad. It shouldn’t have come as such a shock, he’d so obviously fallen so far from anything that could be termed as healthy, but it did. Death is always a shock, and after all, Justin was
only fifty. It didn’t matter that he’d slowly turned into a faintly sighted ghost over the last ten years of his life. He was my dad. I couldn’t believe that he was really dead.
I’d been out on a six-week performance gig in the summer of 2017 for the Islamic Games in Azerbaijan. We’d just done the closing ceremony and were having a wrap party when Michelle rang me. Mammy had been trying to get through to me for hours, but my network reception was faulty, so Michelle had eventually gotten me on a web call instead. I was glad it was her who told me. I don’t know why, but I was glad Mammy hadn’t gotten through first.

The only person that I really knew in Azerbaijan was Aisling, my performing partner.


Mini Review & Some Links

I really enjoyed reading about Ronan’s life and how he managed to turn around his prejudices and really learn about following dreams and achieving those dreams way outside of his comfort zones. Ronan’s words slide of the page with ease, I could hear the Irish accent in my head while I was reading and often his sarcasm made me smile and laugh.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone, it’s only short – about 160 pages but there is so much content that is relevant in society today – how performers are perceived and the fluidity of gender. It really makes for insightful reading – you don’t even need to be interested in the circus!

The kindle edition is only £3.33 and you can find that here.

Ronan’s website.

A Video of Ronan in action.

You can find other tour participants on Twitter and Instagram 🙂

Worlds Apart