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:    

Amazon author page: 

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.

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


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

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


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:

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.

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