Friday, 26 January 2018

#BlogBlitz: No Ordinary Girl by Cheryl Elaine @CherylElaine15 @rararesources #NoOrdinaryGirl

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for No Ordinary Girl by Cheryl Elaine. My thanks to the author and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for the review copy and inviting me to review it today. If you are tempted you can purchase your own copy here, or see the end of this post as there is a giveaway running internationally.

What started out as a night of celebration for Aimee soon turned into a nightmare. Snatched by cruel, sadistic monsters - the worst creatures mankind has ever produced - she’s thrown into a metal container, among other victims too frightened to make a single sound.

The game-keepers force everyone to play. They deliver torment and pain in equal measure. Every hunter has their own agenda and reasons to maim and torture.

Detective Johnson is one step away from catching the killers. Wrestling with his instincts as a father to serve justice his own way, this is no ordinary case for him. Can he stop the vile sadists before they damage more young girls, as well as his own daughter?

Aimee’s ordeal within the compound brings her to the conclusion that she’s no ordinary girl. But can she hang onto her sanity long enough to escape? And will she find a different way to play?

This crime thriller will keep you riveted. It’s no ordinary story.

Please note: contains graphic content.

My Thoughts:

No Ordinary Girl comes with the disclaimer that it contains graphic content and that it does, so if you are of a sensitive disposition then this may not be the one for you. I however was hooked and read it in one sitting. I am not really one for horror films as I usually watch them from behind a cushion, however this book read very much like a script to me and had a cinematic feel to it. 

There is gang of depraved people catering for the 'needs' of even more depraved people. Young people are going missing from nights out or country walks never to be seen again. The reality is that they are being stolen to order and treated in a dreadful and appalling manner, none of which we are spared during this books pages. 

It seemed that money and power meant that the 'hunters' felt that they had the right to indulge their deepest and most revolting desires and that other people and their lives are just toys and playthings and that they are just there to pander to them.

I did find this book shocking, and yes I did wriggle in my seat unconfortably a few times. However I found it utterly engrossing with a interesting plotline and the characters were all fully formed and came alive in my head. 

Certainly an original story that I found to be gripping, dark and disturbing. I am glad that I read it.

About the Author:
 Cheryl Elaine was born in Germany but moved to Northern Ireland as a young child. She then moved to Yorkshire where she spent most of her childhood and this is where she currently resides with her husband and 3 daughters. 

Cheryl Elaine is an avid reader and enjoys watching horror movies - the more gruesome the better! She enjoys travelling and socialising but also loves spending time at home with her family and her ever expanding menagerie which currently includes 2 dogs, a budgie, 2 fish and a rat called Rocky!

Twitter - @CherylElaine15
Insta  - cherylelaine15

Please do have a look at at some of the other stops on the Blog Blitz

Giveaway – Win 1 of 3 x Signed copies of No Ordinary Girl (Open Internationall) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 20 January 2018

#BlogTour: The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @Hannah_Robbo #TheConfession

Published on 25th January 2018 by Quercus Books. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour. 

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?

My Thoughts:

The Confession is the first book that I have read by Jo Spain and oh my it won't be my last. I had been looking forward to reading this one for ages and it didn't disappoint in any way. The gripping narrative and intriguing tag line had me hook, line and sinker. 

A man known as JP enters the house of Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. He proceeds to bludgeon Harry with a golf club in a brutal attack where Julie seems to enter shock and is powerless to do anything. JP then hands himself into the police. It was an interesting concept to know who the attacker was at the beginning of the novel, and as the story plays out we start to learn why. 

The narrative is driven by the viewpoint of three characters, Julie McNamara, JP Carney and Alice Moody, who is the police officer on the case. This way of telling the story worked perfectly in the unravelling of events. There are really not many characters to like here, and this also added to the mystery and suspense. 

Harry McNamara is not a pleasant man and is sure to have made some enemies among the way, particularly when as a banker he was cleared of financial fraud with many of his colleagues taking the fall. Many suspected he was guilty. A man of wealth and power but The Confession is about what goes on behind closed doors and the fact that things are not always as they seem. 

The Confession is utterly absorbing and I had no idea as I was reading how things would end up. This book had the perfect balance of psychological thriller and mystery and made me think. It was quite gruesome in places but this only ramped up the tension on every level. 

Such an accomplished novel, really recommend it to all fans of this genre. 

About the Author:
Jo Spain’s first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. She has written two further in the series, featuring DI Tom Reynolds. Jo has has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and is now writing full-time. She lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children. 

You can find her on Twitter: @SpainJoanne

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

#BlogTour: The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer @kate_hamer @FaberBooks #TheDollFuneral

The Doll Funeral was published in Paperback on 4th January 2017 by Faber & Faber. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and inviting me on to the blog tour.

My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They're not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I'm supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.
But there are things I won't say. I won't tell them I'm going to hunt for my real parents. I don't say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.
I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he'd give me a medal for lying.
I wasn't lying. I'm a hunter for lost souls and I'm going to be with my real family. And I'm not going to let Mick stop me.

My Thoughts:

I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the blog tour for The Doll Funeral having reviewed the authors first book The Girl in the Red Coat for that tour, you can review my review here.

The Doll Funeral is completely different to The Girl in the Red Coat but it is as equally absorbing and wonderfully written. This one is eerie and touched with the supernatural. Set across two strands of time we hear Ruby's story and that of her mother. Set in The Forest of Dean, an area that I know reasonably well, it provided a perfect backdrop for the story.

Ruby discovers on her thirteenth birthday that she is adopted, having endured a difficult childhood Ruby decides to set off in search of her real parents. Ruby was very grown up for thirteen but I suspect that might be to do with the things she has endures.  Ruby's mothers story adds tension and pace to proceedings.

This book is exquisitely written, which is exactly what I have come to expect from this author. I found it to be wonderfully original and intriguing. Descriptive, evocative and extremely haunting. I will admit it did cause me to shed a tear.

Several themes are tackled in The Doll Funeral, such as abuse, mental illness and the parent - child relationship. I really don't want to give much more away about the plot, I would prefer for you discover all about it for yourselves.

I would really recommend this one. Once settled into it will have you completely sucked in.

About the Author:
Kate Hamer grew up in Pembrokeshire. She went to art college and then on to study History of Art at Manchester University. She graduated in 1988. She worked in television for over ten years. 

Having always written purely for herself, she finally decided to begin an MA in creative writing at Aberystwyth University in 2011. Here, she won a prize for the best beginning of a novel – the work that became The Girl in the Red Coat.

She lives with her husband Mark in Cardiff, has two Children and is currently writing full time. The Doll Funeral is her second novel. 

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

#BlogTour: An Act of Silence by @colettemcbeth @wildfirebks #BREAKTHESILENCE

An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth is published on 11th January 2018 by Wildfire Books. My thanks to the author and publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour. 


THEN: How far did she go to conceal the truth?

Politician Linda Moscow sacrificed everything to protect her son: her beliefs, her career, her marriage. All she wanted was to keep him safe.
NOW: What will she risk to expose the lies?
When the voices she silenced come back to haunt her, Linda is faced with another impossible choice. Only this time, it's her life on the line . . .
An Act of Silence is about the abuse of power, the devastating effects of keeping the truth buried, and the lengths a mother will go to save her child.
My Thoughts:
An Act of Silence is the most gripping and taut book that I have read in a long time. It starts off at a relentless pace that doesn't let up throughout. There is suspense and tension on every page, there is not a superfluous word. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. Colette McBeth is an extremely talented writer and I was hanging on every word until the last page turned.

The story starts when Linda Moscow's son Gabriel returns back to her home in the middle of the night, in a state, frightened and asking for his Mothers help. Can she go as far as he asks and is all as it seems? I really have no desire to give anything away about the plot.

What ensues is an intelligent thriller but it is more than that. It is current, raw and real. An exploration of motherhood, of violence, politics and many secrets. The characters jumped off of the page and whilst the story is sometimes harsh, the characters remained very real and accessible. The time line of the story jumps around a little but this only adds to the evocative backdrop and builds the story to its gripping crescendo.

The writing in An Act of Silence is sublime and this book is so much more than a psychological thriller. It is an expert portrayal of human behaviour and the abuse of power. I adored it, and having read one of this authors books before, this one puts me in the list of fans of her work. I will be reading everything that she has written and will write.

Stunning and simply brilliant. 
About the Author:

Colette McBeth is the author of three critically acclaimed psychological thrillers. Her latest, An Act of Silence, is part domestic, part political thriller. In her former life Colette worked as a political correspondent for the BBC at Westminster, a news reporter and started out on regional newspapers. She lives by the sea with her husband and three children and never has enough time.

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour:

Sunday, 14 January 2018

#BlogTour: Fruit Woman by Kate Rigby #FruitWoman #RandomThingTours

Fruit Woman is available now. My thanks to the author for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to review it. 

Fruit Woman is narrated by Helen Scutt, a quirky and na├»ve twenty-seven-year-old. The image of the Fruit Woman has appeared to Helen at important times in her life, particularly in relation to her own sexual and spiritual awakening. But only now, while on holiday with her extended family, does she get her first warning message from the Fruit Woman. 

Set in the l980s, Helen returns with her extended family, after a twelve year break, to spend a fortnight at their favourite holiday destination in Devon: Myrtle Cottages. Due to join them for the second week of the holiday are: Helen's old friend, Bella, Bella's brother, Dominic, and Helen's cousin, Les. 

But shortly after the family have arrived on holiday, Helen's mother announces that she has also invited along someone from church for the second week of their holiday: Christine Wigg, a friend of the family, and victim of a rape several years before. 
In the context of the family holiday, where games of cards, scatological worries, and deep discussions abound, the story centres on Helen's anxieties over the second week's 'guest list'. She's not seen Bella for years, she’s attracted to Dominic in spite of his religious beliefs, and she thinks it a bad idea for her mother to have invited Les, who was originally accused of Christine's rape by her in-laws. Helen's concerns trigger off all sorts of childhood and adolescent memories, but as her anxieties mount, can she make sense at last of what happened years before?

My Thoughts:

Fruit Woman is an individual and unique book, it took me a while to settle into the narrative style but once I did I was hooked. 

Fruit Woman is set in the 1980's, over the course of predominantly two weeks. During a family holiday to Devon. These holiday times were very relatable, the card games, being cooped up under each others feet and the toilet woes. The narrator of our story is Helen Scutt, who seemed a very young 27. 

We begin to see Helen's anxieties mount in the anticipation of the second weeks holiday guests mounts. We get to read about Helen's memories of childhood, her best friend Bella and her crush on Bella's brother Dominic. Also coming are Christine who Helen's mother has taken under her wing. Christine is a recovering alcoholic and has a past that involves being raped, which Les was originally accused off. Les is also coming on the holiday...

The tension is palpable as the story progresses and gets darker until the final denouement which was unexpected and certainly took me by surprise. 

Fruit Woman is a read that required a deal of concentration from me but one which I found rewarding and its uniqueness made it a fascinating portrayal of coming of age, families, adolescence and lies and secrets. 

About the Author:
Kate Rigby has published via various different routes and now refers to herself as a hybrid writer. She has been writing for over thirty years and has an extensive back catalogue. 

She loves cats, singing, photography, music and LFC, She also campaigns online against social injustice.

You can find out more on the following sites:

Please do check out the other stops along the blog tour:

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

#BlogTour: Beginnings by Helen J. Christmas @SFDPBeginnings @rararesources

Beginnings is the first in the Same Face Different Place series. My thanks to the author for the review copy and to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for having me on the blog tour.

Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.
Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.
Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.
Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?
Purchase on Amazon -

My Thoughts:

Beginnings is a roller coaster of a read that hurtled along at a startling pace and really was the ultimate story of Cat and Mouse. 

At 16 Eleanor Chapman's world turns upside down upon the discovery that her Dad works in the criminal underworld and furthermore is going on the run, leaving her to pretty much fend for herself as the people she has been left with can't be trusted. 

Eleanor meets Jake in difficult circumstances, and the two decide that they have to escape London together. Initially enigmatic I grew to love the character of Jake very much and the blossoming relationship between the pair. 

Set in London in the 1970's, this story had a real sense of time and place. The busy streets of London on parallel with the chaos that our two main protagonists are going through. Some of the scenes made my pulse rise and my hands sweat as I longed for the pair to get out of London safely. 

Well written and well plotted, full of enough mystery and intrigue but throw a little bit of romance in there and this gives this book a dynamic that I haven't necessarily come across before. 

Gripping and fascinating I was drawn into the story hoping that the baddies got their comeuppance. Beginnings was left suitably to go into book two and I will most certainly be reading it. I have to know what happens next!

About the Author:
Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast of Sussex with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series 'Same Face Different Place' in 2011. Her first book 'Beginnings,' set in 1970s London, combines romantic suspense with a hard-hitting conspiracy thriller. Writing is something she juggles around family and social life. Helen is self employed and enjoys running the web design company, she and her husband set up from home. They have no children but enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a fluffy white cat. Helen confesses to have got most of her ideas for writing, whilst walking Barney along the beach.
Social Media Links –
Please have a look at some of the other stops on the blog tour and carry on reading after for your chance to win a copy of this book.
                                 Win a signed copy of Beginnings (UK Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway