Monday, 30 July 2018

#BlogTour: Death Rope by Leigh Russell @LeighRussell @noexitpress #DeathRope

Death Rope was published on 26th July 2018 in ebook by No Exit Press. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and to Katherine for inviting me on to the blog tour. 

THEY SAY SUICIDE. SHE SAYS MURDER.

Mark Abbott is dead. His sister refuses to believe it was suicide, but only Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel will listen.
When other members of Mark’s family disappear, Geraldine’s suspicions are confirmed.
Taking a risk, Geraldine finds herself confronted by an adversary deadlier than any she has faced before… Her boss Ian is close, but will he arrive in time to save her, or is this the end for Geraldine Steel?
My Thoughts:
Death Rope is the latest release in the Geraldine Steel series and shock horror confession time here, this is the first book I have read by author Leigh Russell. I have no idea why as it certainly won't be my last. This book can be read as a standalone although I would liked to have read the others so I could have the background and development of the characters. I am converted and will be going back to read the others. 
When Mark Abbott is found dead seemingly in suicide by hanging the police suspect no foul play but Mark's sister feels differently this is just not something Mark would have done, he approaches Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel who starts to quietly investigate, she has recently undergone a demotion and moved house. Her personal and professional life seem chaotic to say the least. 
There are plenty of twists and turns that kept me completely absorbed and invested in the outcome. The pages just flew by until the final denouement that I just did not see coming. This was the perfect crime novel and I am kicking myself for not discovering the series sooner.
The characterisations were well rounded and interesting. The writing was engaging and thrilling. This is police procedural at its very best. Lies and being thrown off the scent seem standard fare here. Whilst I haven't read the others this book still seemed very fresh and actually a breath of fresh air in the genre. 
Absolutely superb stuff!
About the Author:
Leigh Russell is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop DeadFatal ActKiller Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi and Class Murder. The series has sold over a million copies worldwide. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA) John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes with Stop Dead and Murder Ring selected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize. Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a granddaughter, and lives in London.

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Saturday, 28 July 2018

#BlogBlitz: The Invisible Case by Isabella Muir @SussexMysteries @rararesources #TheInvisibleCase

Published on 30th June 2018. My thanks to the author/publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on the blog blitz. Should you be interested you can get your own copy here, alternatively there is a giveaway running which is at the bottom of this post.



A shocking death turns a homecoming into a nightmare. 


It's Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, and for one family the first Easter of a new decade brings a shocking tragedy. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and looking forward to spending time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story.



As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family?
As Luigi's story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come.

My Thoughts:

The Invisible Case is the third book in Janie Juke series of crime mysteries. It is the first I have read and it certainly reads well as a standalone. I was initially drawn in by the mention of Poirot in the blurb as I am certainly a big fan. This description is accurate. The Janie Juke series would appeal to fans of Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot. There is somewhat of a cozy mystery feel about it. The crime fiction I normally read has a lot more grit so I am afraid I don't have much to compare this book to but I can say that I did enjoy the change of pace and found myself embroiled in the writing and the mystery. 

The Invisible Case is set in Italy and Sussex in the fictional town of Tamarisk Bay, the author has used a good sense of place and the journey between Italy and Sussex was exciting. As it is the first time of meeting the character of Janie Juke I really liked her and her amateur sleuthing. 

Luigi is a character that was more difficult to like, he finds himself in the UK as the prime suspect of a murder. I won't be telling you anymore about the mystery as that needs to be discovered by the reader alone.

Overall I found The Invisible Case to be well written and highly readable. Arguably I do prefer my crime and mysteries to have a lot more grit and pace to them but that is purely personal preference and no discredit to this book. 

I would recommend this as a solid piece of fiction to add to the stable of cozy mysteries so if you a fan of those then I can recommend this book to you. 

About the Author:

Isabella Muir is the author of Janie Juke series of crime mysteries - all set in Sussex.

'The Tapestry Bag' is the first in the series, followed by ‘Lost Property’. Now - 'The Invisible Case' - the latest in the series is available for pre-order from Amazon.

The 'Janie Juke mysteries' are set in Sussex in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian with a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Isabella has also published 'Ivory Vellum' - a collection of short stories.

She has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing - she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.
Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Social Media Links –
TWITTER  @SussexMysteries

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Invisible Case (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.



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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

#BlogTour: The Vanished Child by M J Lee @WriterMJLee @rararesources #TheVanishedChild

The Vanished Child is available now. My thanks to the author for the review copy and to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me to read a copy. Today I have a spotlight for you with my review following later this week. Apologies to all for the scheduling error as this post and review was supposed to go out yesterday. It turns out that I am human after all. 


What would you do if you discovered you had a brother you never knew existed?
On her deathbed, Freda Duckworth confesses to giving birth to an illegitimate child in 1944 and temporarily placing him in a children's home. She returned later but he had vanished. 
What happened to the child? Why did he disappear? Where did he go? 
Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator, is faced with lies, secrets, and one of the most shameful episodes in recent history as she attempts to uncover the truth.
Can she find the vanished child?
This book is the fourth in the Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery series, but can be read as a standalone novel.
Every childhood lasts a lifetime.

If I can tempt you in to getting your own copy, you can do so here: Purchase Link - myBook.to/vanishedchild

About the Author:

Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
When he's not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, researching his family history, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.
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#BlogTour: The Afterlife of Walter Augustus by Hannah Lynn @HMLynnauthor #WalterandLetty

The Afterlife of Walter Augustus is available now. My thanks to the author for contacting me to ask me to read and review the book as part of the blog tour and for my copy. If my review or this post tempts you, there is a brilliant giveaway from Hannah Lynn at the bottom of the post, also the book is only 99p here for the duration of the blog tour.


Walter Augustus is dead. His current state of existence has become a monotony of sweet tea and lonely strolls and after decades stuck in the Interim — a posthumous waiting room for those still remembered on Earth — he is ready to move on. Only when he is forgotten by every living person will he be able to pass over and join his family in the next stage of the afterlife. At last the end is tantalizingly close, but bad luck and a few rash decisions may see him trapped in the Interim for all eternity. 

Letty Ferguson is not dead. Letty Ferguson is a middle-aged shoe saleswoman who leads a pleasant and wholly unextraordinary life, barring the secret fortune she seems unable to tell her husband about. However, when she takes possession of an unassuming poetry anthology, life takes on a rather more extraordinary dimension.

My Thoughts:

I am so pleased that I was invited to read The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, it is spectacular and I implore you all to read it too. 

This book is interesting, entertaining and chock a block of ideas and imagination. There is a whole host of characters that shine. It is both ethereal and corporeal and so well thought out. 

Walter is stuck in the interim, unable to move on until he his forgotten on Earth. Trouble is he has been there a very long time and as one copy of his poetry remains in circulation he keeps being remembered. Letty manages to lay her hands on the copy of the book and what ensues is hilarity and also sadness in trying to make her forget him.

Letty has built up a bit of a bank balance, she works hard and trudges through life. She hasn't got around to telling her husband Donald yet about her amassed fortune, she always thought she would spend it on their children but unfortunately for them that wasn't to be. 

This book tries to answer the question to that old adage, What happens to us when we die?

The story flows beautifully, the writing is superb and the plot is brilliantly quirky and well imagined. The author should be very proud to have written a book such as this. I genuinely believe that it deserves to be a bestseller, it is really wonderful. 

The author has managed to write something unique that has captured my heart and imagination, a book that made me laugh and at the same time shed a tear, it also had an ending that was perfectly placed. 

I recommend this to anyone who has a heart or even a soul. Truly outstanding stuff.


About the Author:
Hannah Lynn was born in 1984 and grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction. Her first novel, Amendments, was published in 2015, her latest novel, The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, is out July 2018. Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Austrian Alps.






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Giveaway

Win a Kindle Paperwhite E Reader and an E-copy of The Afterlife of Walter Augustus by Hannah Lynn

* Please note that the giveaway is being run directly by the author and as such any queries should be pointed her way. 

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

#BlogBlitz: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye @SarahMarieGraye @rararesources @PictPublishing #TheSecondCup #ButterflyEffectBooks

Delighted to be taking part in this First Anniversary Blog Blitz for The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye my thanks to the author for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting to be a part of this. You can get a copy on the following links of enter the giveaway further down this post.

Amazon book page:              https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page:           https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye


Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he's taken his own life.

Faye is left wondering how to move forward - and whether or not Jack's best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack's death ripples through the lives of her friends too.

Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack's death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.

Is Beth about to take her own life too?

My Thoughts:

The Second Cup is the debut novel by author Sarah Marie Graye and the first book in The Butterfly Effect Series. I did enjoy this book and it was different from what I am used to reading and also from what I was expecting. 

I found it quite difficult to settle in to the style of writing but once I did I found this to be a richly rewarding read. It was emotive and sensitively written and I found it to be quite profound.

Told from the points of view of the characters we get to find out about them all and what makes them tick. They all seem to be living on the periphery of their lives and when they find out about the suicide of someone close they are all individually affected. 

The characters were all really well developed and I really felt for them all individually. 

Sarah Marie Graye has managed to sensitively write about a complex subject matter in a way that is readable and accessible.

An emotionally charged read and I can't wait to read more from this author. 

About the Author:
Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.

Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.

Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.

Social Media Links

Facebook:                              https://www.facebook.com/sarahmariegraye
Twitter:                                  https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye
Instagram:                              https://www.instagram.com/sarahmariegraye
Goodreads:                            https://www.goodreads.com/sarahmariegraye

Please do have a look at some of the other stops on the Blitz and continue reading for a giveaway.


Giveaway – Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.



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#BlogTour: Dortmund Hibernate by C J Sutton @c_j_sutton @crookedcatbooks @rararesources #DortmundHibernate

Published on 18th July by Crooked Cat Books. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on to the blog tour. You can buy your copy here.


Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts. 

Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act. 

As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…

The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill. 

It's Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.



My Thoughts:

Wow, what a ride this book is and one that I was least expecting. It is thrilling and exciting but also dark and depraved. In Dortmund Hibernate we have a story of an asylum and its inhabitants. Dr Magnus Paul, Psychologist has the unenviable task of talking to nine of them and we get to hear their stories and find out a little more about Dr Magnus Paul himself.

I am not really going to give away much more of the book than that. You really need to read it yourself to get to the bones of it (quite apt given the subject matter!). 

Dortmund Hibernate is a book that I had to read some bits behind a cushion, not for the faint of heart or people that don't want to read anything too gruesome. 

Although being a thrilling book there are some important points tackled amongst these pages. It has made me think about the use of asylums and the isolation they bring and also whether they are the most appropriate things. Also something else that I have questioned for a long time is raised here, are certain crimes committed because the perpetrator is mentally unwell or is the person just evil. 

Dortmund Hibernate is a book that is going to remain with me for a long time. C J Sutton is a promising new voice in the world of Psychological thrillers. The description of Shutter Island meets Silence of the Lambs is very apt so if this your thing I think you would definitely like this one.

About the Author:
C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.
As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.    
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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

#BlogTour: The Backstreets of Purgatory by Helen Taylor @TaylorHelen_M @Unbounders #TheBackstreetsofPurgatory

The Backstreets of Purgatory was published by Unbound Digital on 12th July 2018. My thanks to the author for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on to the blog tour. 

Finn Garvie’s life is one spectacular mess. He spends most of his time fannying around a makeshift Glasgow studio, failing to paint his degree portfolio, while his girlfriend Lizzi treats him like one of her psychology patients, and his best friend Rob is convinced that the tattoos he designs are the height of artistic achievement.
To top it all, Finn is worried that some stinking bastard is hanging around, spying on him, laughing at his cock-ups and eating his leftover curry. Fortunately, he has plenty of techniques to distract him – tackling the church hall renovations with the help of his alcoholic neighbour; pining after Kassia, the splendidly stroppy au-pair; and re-reading that book on Caravaggio, his all-time hero.
Things take a turn for the strange when he finally encounters the person who’s been bugging him, and it seems to be none other than Caravaggio himself…
Art, truth and madness come to blows in this darkly funny debut novel from a startling new talent.

My Thoughts:

I don't know where to begin with The Backstreets of Purgatory, in a good way of course. It is one of the most original books that I have read in a long, long time. Highly readable and memorable in so many ways. 

There was a certain humour to this novel that captured my interest and imagination. Set in Glasgow I learnt a lot more about the place which really came to life through the authors writing, the language at times was colourful but this only sufficed to add to the flow of the writing. 

I admit to knowing literally nothing about Art and had to google who Caravaggio was, this didn't detract from my reading of the story. So when he turns up as Finn's muse the plot takes a dramatic turn. Finn is not always likeable, however he was an entertaining character and I enjoyed finding out all about him. 

There is a lot going here, some of which went a little over my head. The writing is sharp and flowed beautifully. Although I did find it a little wordy in places, I still enjoyed reading every single page. 

What I loved most about this book was the ambition and the scope with which it was written. I have only admiration for this author and look forward to reading more from her in the future. 

Recommended to all those who fancy something a little bit bizarre and something that is definitely different, this is a book that would provoke a great discussion. 



About the Author:

Helen Taylor is a writer living in France. The Backstreets of Purgatory is her first book.
Find out more:
Twitter: @TaylorHelen_M


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Friday, 6 July 2018

#CoverReveal Blood Ribbon by Roger Bray @rogerbray22 @rararesources #BloodRibbon


Delighted to be taking part in the Cover Reveal for Blood Ribbon by Roger Bray, I will have my review here soon. Blood Ribbon is published on 10th August 2018. My thanks to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for asking me to take part in the reveal and the upcoming blog tour. You can pre order your copy of the book:
Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2NhxkjW


When there’s more than secrets buried, where do you start digging?
When Brooke Adams is found battered, bleeding, and barely conscious, the police are at a loss as to who her attacker is or why she was targeted.
Then, PI Rod Morgan turns up convinced that Brooke’s attack is the latest in a string of unsolved disappearances dating back twenty-five years.
The police, however, aren’t convinced, so Brooke and Rod must investigate the cases themselves.
As secrets from the past start unravelling, will they find Brooke’s attacker before he strikes again, or is that one secret that will stay buried forever?

About the Author:

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Social Media Links –  https://twitter.com/rogerbray22
                             https://www.facebook.com/rogerbraybooks/
                             https://rogerbraybooks.com/






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