#BlogTour! #Review – The Forgotten Family of Liverpool by Pam Howes (@PamHowes1) @Bookouture

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The fighting has finished – but are their troubles just beginning?

It’s 1951 and rationing is finally coming to an end. But while Liverpool is recovering from the ferocity of war, a family is about to be torn apart…

Dora Rodgers is settling into a new life with her daughters Carol and Jackie, moving on from the betrayal of her husband. But then an unexpected knock at the door rips her family in two. Carol is taken away by a welfare officer to live with Dora’s estranged husband Joe. 

Dora is determined to fight for her child, but she struggles to cope when a tragic accident leaves her mother in hospital, and shocking news from Joe breaks her heart once more. 

With her family in pieces and her marriage over for good, will Dora ever manage to get her daughter Carol home where she belongs?

The Forgotten Family of Liverpool is a brave and tear-jerking story of one woman’s quest to protect her family. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Annie Murray and Kitty Neale. Discover Pam’s Mersey Trilogy today.

What does TWG think?

‘The Forgotten Family of Liverpool’ is book two in Pam Howes’ Mersey trilogy and, in my honest opinion, I believe that it can be read as a standalone. However, I would recommend reading the first book in the series, ‘The Lost Daughter of Liverpool’ beforehand, just so that you haven’t missed out on any vital information from the main characters back stories, before delving into the a new chapter of their lifestyles.

Having really enjoyed the first book in the series, I was super excited to read this novel. I couldn’t wait to catch up with some of the old characters, as well as creating new ‘friendships’ with new characters. Well, except Ivy of course, I would be lying if I said that I was yearning to meet up with her for a cup of builders tea.

Set in 1950’s Liverpool, Dora’s life showed signs of becoming even more complicated, especially where her estranged husband, Joe, was concerned. Reading about Dora’s struggles opened my eyes to the reality of the past, especially how differently situations were dealt with in those days compared to now. There were times where my heart ached for Dora and the challenges she had to face once again. That said, luck most definitely wasn’t on her side throughout the majority of the storyline, I was getting a bit exasperated at how her character always seemed to have the negativity thrown at her. Why, for two novels, did Dora face such hardships? Why wasn’t she given a break? Don’t get me wrong I know that life isn’t all rainbows and kisses, but still, I couldn’t understand it.

I did enjoy ‘The Forgotten Family of Liverpool’; it had a plot which kept me engrossed, as well as being able to make me take a walk down memory lane in terms of the historical feel. I loved the community spirit of the storyline, it was so lovely to see people coming together in times of need, and even at short notice. For me, that was the most heart-warming part of the novel.

Whilst I did enjoy being back in Liverpool with Dora and her family, I didn’t warm to the overall storyline as much as I did the first book due to what I said previously about Dora,  and how I felt that the storyline was seemed to be missing something. What that missing something was, however, I’m not overly sure, all I can pinpoint is that I needed a bit more to sink my teeth into.

As ever, Pam Howes’ delectable writing style left me wanting more; I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next part of the series.

Thanks Bookouture.

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2qIcCya

US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2pOgsrD

Forgotten Family of Liverpool Blog Tour

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#CoverReveal for @RobertBryndza brand new novel! #ComingSoon @Bookouture #ErikaFoster

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
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I am so, so, SO excited about this cover reveal tonight! I am delighted to be helping Bookouture to reveal Robert Bryndza cover for his upcoming novel, Cold Blood.

Erika Foster is back ladies and gents!!

Just feast your eyes on THIS!

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COLD BLOOD by ROBERT BRYNDZA
(Detective Erika Foster Book 5)
Out on 20th September

 
The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before. 

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. 

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. 

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending

OH MY GOD I cannot wait!!!!

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne @Picadorbooks @DonShanaha

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Whilst Kate Murray-Browne’s ‘The Upstairs Room’ is still on my TBR pile (I will get to it, honest), I am still excited to share with you, an extract from the book. Big thanks to Don Shanahan for inviting me on the tour!

upstairs

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners – including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.

Released on the 27th July and available to pre-order here!

Extract.

They were silent in the car. Eleanor was anticipating the argument they were going to have. She felt helpless, defeated before they’d even begun. The four bedrooms, the outside space. The area, the schools. Transport links. It didn’t feel right. What does that even mean? There’s a housing crisis. Prices are rising every month, every week: they’re rising right now. I just didn’t feel comfortable there. We’re running out of time. The smell. The upstairs room! You have to look at the potential. We could make a fortune on that place. Acquisitive, greedy. Irrational. She felt empty. They were on the move now, however much she wished they weren’t. The house they’d moved to after they got engaged, where they’d brought their children home from hospital, was no longer theirs. The moment they’d given notice, it had lurched into the unfamiliar. Its flaws and eccentricities became unbearable when there was no point fixing or tolerating them. She had never felt less welcome than in the house they had seen that afternoon, but she was unwelcome in her own home now. And she knew their resources were slowly depleting – time, energy, childcare, love.

It was only when they were getting ready for bed that it surfaced, vivid and sharp: an image of the kitchen sink, surrounded by perfectly clear, sterile metal. She tried to picture the bathroom and was certain it was the same: she could see unbroken plains of enamel, unpunctuated by signs of life.
‘Think about it, Richard, there was nothing: no washing-up liquid, no toothbrushes, no soap. It was empty.’
Richard threw his shirt on the chair in their bedroom. ‘They were probably just tidying up before the viewing. Shoved it all in a cupboard.’
‘I don’t think they live there any more.’
‘He said they did, didn’t he? Michael, I mean.’ Richard got into bed. ‘If anything, it was too lived-in.’
As she brushed her teeth, Eleanor thought of those blank surface and; the deep, dark paint colours. The feeling of compression on the top floor; the writing on the wall. There was something not quite right, awry. She just didn’t know how to articulate it. By the time she came back in the bedroom, Richard had already turned out the light.

#BlogTour! #Review – Cocktails & Dreams by A.L.Michael (@almichael_) @Canelo_co @NeverlandBT

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It feels like a lifetime ago since A.L.Michael last appeared on TWG, a lot has happened since she has! You may remember the author’s previous book series, The House on Camden Square, which came to an end last year. However, A.L.Michael has returned with a new look, a new vibe, and a new path to move forward on.

I am delighted to be day two on the ‘Cocktails and Dreams’ blog tour – here is my review!

Book Cover

A heart-warming novel with characters you’ll love, don’t miss this first in a new series for romance, laugh-out- loud comedy and a feel-good ending. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lindsey Kelk.

I was seven years old when I realized my mother was not a great person… 
Since Savvy was abandoned by her rockstar mother, she has craved a normal life. But after years of financing her boyfriend’s lacklustre career, he leaves her when he hits the big time. Savvy’s friends at the burlesque club where she serves elaborate cocktails encourage her to make bold changes in her life. She soon meets handsome bartender Milo, and begins to plan a future she can be excited about.

But when Savvy’s estranged mother crashes back into her life, her newfound happiness is under threat… will Savvy have the courage to pursue her dreams? 

See inside for a delicious cocktail recipe and book club questions!

What does TWG think?

Cocktails and Dreams…what a unique cover! To be perfectly honest, my first impression of the book wasn’t 100% due to the cover, it seemed too simple for the authors general style. Just my opinion. When I got into the storyline, I found the content to be nothing like the cover whatsoever.

Getting straight to the point; I bloomin’ loved this book! First of all, the majority of the storyline was set in a burlesque club, I mean, how unique can you get? Straight away I thought of Dita Von Teese, and the film ‘Burlesque’. Brilliant setting. Second of all, there is a kickass female protagonist who goes by the name of ‘Savvy’; if you need a new role model in your life, choose her. Period. Third of all, there is an emotional back story which ends up being deeper than the Bee-Gee’s popular tune, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’. Not in a bad way either!

‘Cocktails and Dreams’ isn’t just a book about alcohol. It isn’t just a book about dreams gone wrong. No. ‘Cocktails and Dreams’ is a book that just keeps on giving. Every single chapter brought something new to the whole book experience, some things expected, and some things not. All of that showed me that A.L.Michael’s book has more to it that meets the eye, and by golly what a book to come back with!

Savvy’s situation was quite a difficult one to read, so emotional yet her mother’s antics made me want to give her a ruddy good shake. I found the switching between intense moments and hilarious moments, incredibly refreshing and memorable. It was as though  we were given the best of both worlds, without feeling too suffocated by the characters lifestyles.

Whilst I loved the entire novel, I adored the spotlight on fulfilling dreams, and learning how to find the confidence to be able to put yourself first, whilst grabbing that dream by the lower region and showing it whose boss. At the end of the day, we are all humans as we always end up putting our dreams on the back burner because of life itself. Author, A.L.Michael, was obviously aware of that fact, which made the sentiment behind her character’s dreams go through the roof. I believed that Savvy could reach the stars. And now, after reading ‘Cocktails and Dreams’, I believe that I can also reach the stars.

A brilliant, heart-warming, beautifully written novel from the extremely talented, A.L.Michael. A must-read without a doubt.

Thanks Canelo/NeverlandBT.

Amazon // Kobo

Giveaway!!

This giveaway is to win a cocktail making giftset and an eCopy of the book. UK only!

Giveaway Prize
To enter the giveaway, click here. Good luck!

#BlogTour! #Review – Ask No Questions by Lisa Hartley (@rainedonparade) @canelo_co

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I am delighted to be closing Lisa Hartley’s blog tour for ‘Ask No Questions’, with my review! Big thanks to Faye Rogers and Canelo for inviting me on this tour!

Ask No Questions Cover

Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one

After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small
leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.

Soon Caelan is drawn back into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is
suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect – even close colleagues.

Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.

This isn’t an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.

The nerve-shredding new crime thriller from bestseller Lisa Hartley starts a
must-read new series. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza, it will keep you guessing until the very end.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever finished reading a book and thought to yourself; ‘Hallelujah!! This is just the book I’ve been waiting for!’? I have..

Now even though I read a lot of books, I still expect each and every storyline to be unique. However, recently it feels like a lot of the thrillers/psychological thrillers I’ve read, whilst being a good enough read, haven’t made me go ‘wow!’. Until now.

Caelan Small resigned from her job in the Met after a police operation went from bad, to worse, in a matter of minutes. As far as Caelan was concerned, she had left her job permanently. However as far as the Met were concerned, Caelan was about to be reinstated and thrown in the deep end. If Caelan thought the operation last time was a mess, she has no idea what is about to come her way…

‘Ask No Questions’ is THE book I have been waiting for! Not only was the storyline extremely fast paced, it was also full of suspense and intrigue as I tried to work out what the hell was going on. In the simplest of terms, ‘Ask No Questions’ is an absolute mind-funk of a novel which, ironically enough, made me want to ask questions constantly. When each situation began to unfold I tried to piece everything together, attempting to come up with a name as to who was involved. Just when I had a name and a motive in mind, the entire plot changed tactic and everything was up in the air. Nobody was safe. Nothing was certain. There were a lot of characters with a ‘do not trust’ sign stuck to their heads and, because I was invested in each character throughout the book, I became quite shocked when a character who I believed to be trustworthy, ended up being ‘one to watch’.

From the very first page, ‘Ask No Questions’ held me hostage. My level of excitement for the novel itself was through the roof, I was eager to turn to the next page to find out what was going to happen next. Who was going to come out from the woodwork. Who might end up dead.

I cannot even begin to explain how much I absolutely LOVED Lisa Hartley’s novel. All I can say (once again), is how ‘Ask No Questions’ became THE book I have been waiting for. THE storyline I wanted to sink my teeth into and never let go. Being shocked by every turn of events the moment I turned the page. Lisa Hartley has written a phenomenal, intense, spine tingling and addictive read, I am already beyond excited about the next book in the series. ‘Ask No Questions’ ticked every single box for me, and then some.

For once the tag line at the end of the blurb is bang on; this book really will keep you guessing, and you will absolutely love that it does.

Thanks Canelo!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – The Silk Weaver’s Wife by Debbie Rix (@debbierix) @bookouture

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The unforgettable stories of two women crossing centuries as past and present weave together in this beautifully moving summer read.

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

What does TWG think?

Being perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect with ‘The Silk Weaver’s Wife’ as, whilst I have heard of Debbie Rix, I had never read any of her novels before this one. To begin with, it took me a couple of chapters to warm up to the storyline as there was a lot of information to digest, and the pace was quite slow. When I reached halfway, I felt like bowing to the slow pace as it is such an important part of the overall novel structure, which is severely misunderstood.

Set during two different times, The Silk Weaver’s Wife explorers silk weaving in 1704, and 2017. In 1704 our main character is Anastasia, she has fallen in love yet her father seems to have different plans for her love life. It’s either his way, or the high way. Anastasia was forced into a lifestyle which compromised her safety, dignity, and independence. Reading Anastasia’s story was absolutely devastating. Whilst the character came across incredibly strong and independent, she was actually quite fearful and longed for her own life back. During the chapters of 1704, Debbie Rix takes us on a journey through time, an eye-opening one at that, especially when the storyline took us to different countries. Planes weren’t invented then, so how do you think the characters managed to get to those different countries? Imagine the length of time it must have taken them! I was in awe. I adore history. Debbie Rix has incorporated some wonderful historical facts alongside her fictional work – all of which blew me away.

During the chapters of 2017, the main character is Millie, a journalist who’s love life isn’t exactly above-board. That aside, Millie was given the opportunity to write a feature in Italy, exploring the history surrounding silk weaver’s as a whole. Well, she also got to explore a certain local Italian stallion….

I adored watching the past and present come together throughout the storyline, finding out the history behind the silk weaver’s, as well as seeing certain items from the past in the present chapters. Outstanding!

I absolutely LOVED this book! Yes, it was a little heavy in some parts but, due to the nature of the storyline, it just meant that I had to take my time over the storyline. Not really a hardship! Debbie Rix has blown me away with her enchanting and flawless writing style. Honestly, I have never read anything like it before.

Debbie Rix is an outstanding storyteller with such beautiful and iconic writing, which captured my heart and soul. The historical features in The Silk Weaver’s Wife, were written impeccably. The fictional parts of the storyline were written in such a mesmerising, and addictive manner; I was excited to change each page. Put the two parts together, and you have one memorable and alluring novel.

I believe I have found a new favourite author, and a new set of books to buy online. I need more of Debbie Rix on my bookshelf after this.

The Silk Weaver’s Wife is an authentic portrayal of silk weaving history meeting silk weaving present, whilst also being entwined with the authors distinctive and outstanding writing style. Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough, you must read this one!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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A year ago today I lost my Dad for the 2nd & final time… #grief #death

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24 and a half years ago, my dad chose a new journey in life. The type of journey that meant that he would no longer be involved in watching me grow up. A journey which meant that I had, in theory, lost my dad for the first time. Do I remember how I felt about that? No, I was a mere three years old. Between the years of 1993-2003 I saw him a handful of times, yet in 1998, he chose to send me a birthday card. However, what was written in that card has stayed with me ever since;

‘Dear Kaisha. I’m not sending you anything for your birthday as you haven’t bothered to write to Nanna. Dad’

Reader; I was 8 years old. I know exactly what I did with that card (after getting upset btw). I casually ripped it into little pieces, walked outside and threw it into the black wheelie bin. Wasn’t exactly the most mature thing to do, but y’know!

In 2004 I had reached an age where I wanted to give my dad one more chance (please be aware that I’m not typing out the entire story here, a lot more went on than what I wrote above). To say that I missed my dad that year would be a lie. To say that I missed the idea of having a dad…now that would be closer to the truth. I gave him that chance, and he blew it more than once during 2014.

In 2006 I saw my dad for the very last time, through chance, as he was walking out of Tesco as we were walking in. I didn’t want to talk to him. I had nothing to say to him. Over the years a lot of my early childhood came to light, such as how he wanted my mum to abort me when she fell pregnant, and so on. When I was older, I was able to speak for myself and form an opinion based on what he decided to spraff. I stood up for myself. I was called all the names under the sun, ridiculed beyond belief, pulled apart like I was scum. And yes, I did reply in a hateful and angry manner, I won’t lie.

In 2013, whilst I was pregnant with my daughter, it was agreed that I should contact him over Facebook and let him know that I was pregnant, same as when I gave birth. His response? He congratulated my mum on the birth of my baby..

So, whilst you’ve had a little history lesson of TWG, there is a reason why I have delved into my past. On the 25th July 2016 I received a phone call from my cousin. My dad was dead. I had to relay the news to my family, and yes, I was absolutely distraught. The next day I was contacted again by my cousin who told me that on the 23rd July (one year ago today), my dad killed himself by putting a gun to his head. Why did I find out two days after the event? Because he lived in America and, seeing as he had no contact details for his children, we weren’t notified directly…his sister was.

Despite the fact that my dad and I, had had a turbulent relationship over the years, and the fact that I despised him and didn’t want to be associated with him (I changed my surname), his death knocked me for six. I couldn’t stop crying. Even if I wanted to re-build our relationship, I no longer can. He doesn’t know his granddaughter. Hell, he didn’t even really know his 26 (at the time) year old daughter. Yet I was a mess. But then I thought to myself; ‘why are you crying? you didn’t like him?’, and quite a few times I was asked that question by other people. People couldn’t understand why I was so upset so, because of those comments, I started feeling like I shouldn’t be upset by his death. How I shouldn’t be feeling sad as we hadn’t spoken for years. How I should just get on with it and we didn’t really have a relationship. I felt guilty for being upset when I had had a step-dad for the last 8 years, why would I have needed my dad? I wouldn’t. My step-dad has been more of a father to me than my dad ever was. But I still couldn’t stop crying.

Even now, one year later, I still have moments where I can’t believe he’s dead. I wasn’t able to go to the funeral. My brother and I had to legally relinquish our next of kin rights due to cost. Even though my brother was happy to do that and wasn’t bothered by the circumstances, I didn’t want to do it, but I knew that I couldn’t afford to pay for the funeral myself, including the cost for bringing his body back to the UK. Even though he washed his hands of us many years ago, I felt extremely guilty by doing the same even though he was dead.

Regardless of my relationship with my dad, he was still that…my dad. I wouldn’t be on this planet if it wasn’t partly for him. When I look in the mirror I see him, obviously. I wish things were different. I wish we were able to have the father daughter relationship. I know I’m lucky to have my step-dad in my life, and of course my mummabear, but I guess I never expected my dad to kill himself. I am furious with him, but I do miss him. I have no idea why I miss him, but I do. He’s part of me whether I like it or not.

I never got to say goodbye to my dad the first time that he left us. I never got to say goodbye to my dad the second, and final time that he left us. I never got to say to him, ‘look at me now’. I never got to know HIM. HE never got to know me as an adult.

This is by far, the weirdest grief I have ever experienced. I guess that I just want my dad…even though I never really had him to begin with…

#BlogTour! #Review – Born Bad by Heather Burnside (@HeatherBWriter) @Aria_Fiction

Born Bad - jacket

Book 1 in this new, gritty Manchester crime trilogy. When your enemies get close, family loyalty is all you can trust.

Brother and sister Peter and Adele Robinson never stood a chance. Dragged up by an
alcoholic, violent father, and a weak, beaten mother, their childhood in Manchester only
prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. But Adele is determined to break the mould. She studies hard at school and, inspired by her beloved grandmother Joyce, she finally makes a successful life for herself on her own.

Peter is not so lucky. Getting more and more immersed in the murky world of crime and
gangs, his close bonds with Adele gradually loosen until they look set to break altogether.
But old habits die hard, and one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent
past. Dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line – her brother Peter. After all, blood is thicker than water…

What does TWG think?

Oh my god, what a book!! Despite being siblings and bring brought up in the same home environment, Peter and Adele couldn’t be more different if they tried. In his spare time, Peter enjoys doing anything that he SHOULDN’T do, aka, anything that’s against the law. Whereas Adele is seen as the ‘goody two shoes’, a hard worker who is severely misunderstood. Well, if your father was beating you to a pulp as well, I reckon you might be a smudge misunderstood too. A mother is meant to protect her children; Adele and Peter’s mother didn’t, even though she too was used as a punchbag by her violent husband.

Again, OH MY GOD, WHAT A BOOK!!!! I couldn’t stop reading this book! From the very first page until the very last page, my eyes didn’t move from the book in case I missed something important. The things which Peter got up to, shocked me to the core. The things which their father did, also shook me to the core. As for Adele’s anger, did that shake me to my core? No. Why? Because she was hardly going to turn into a calm, anger free type of person considering the environment in which she was brought up! Just to clarify, I don’t condone the results of her anger, but I can see WHY she was so angry.

Peter’s choice of lifestyle didn’t shock me at all, whereas the specifics did. I think that was because I had only watched Peter grow up in one way; the bad way, therefore it probably would have shocked me more if he had turned into a priest.

‘Born Bad’ has such a fast paced storyline which works well with the overall plot. If the pace had turned out to be a bit of a slow burner, I feel like that would have ruined the vibe. Luckily, the pace was spot on and so was the vibe. Heather Burnside has written about such chilling, devastating subjects, whilst still keeping them realistic. I’m not going to lie, the vivid imagery my mind conjured up thanks to the authors incredible descriptive story telling, gave me goosebumps and made me wince. I really was on the edge of my seat with this book as each and every situation seemed to get amplified as the story went on. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more cut throat; it did.

I am so pleased that ‘Born Bad’ is book one in a new series, as I cannot wait to find out how Adele’s story unfolds in the next book. The only irk I have with this book is the conclusion being left severely hanging – annoying!! I just hope that we don’t have too long to wait for book two.

A chilling, realistic, intense, and addictive storyline which will not only have you on the edge of your seat, it will also stay in your mind a long while after completing the book. Absolutely brilliant, highly recommended!

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

About the author

Heather Burnside is a Manchester-based author who, after taking a career break to raise a family, swapped credit control for writing and decided to study for a writing diploma.
Heather had articles featured in several popular UK magazines before publishing her first Manchester-based crime thriller in 2014.

Follow Heather

Facebook: @HeatherBurnsideAuthor
Twitter: @HeatherBWriter
Website: http://www.heatherburnside.com

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#BlogTour! #Review – Brothers & Sisters by Adele O’Neill (@AdelesBooks) @Aria_fiction

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Do you have the Friday feeling? No? Well you should as today is the start of Adele O’Neill’s blog tour for her debut novel, Brothers & Sisters! What more could you want on a Friday? Well, except my review of the book of course….

Brothers & Sisters - jacket
Nothing remains buried forever… What would you do to protect the ones you love?
A gripping, highly emotive story of love, survival, dark family secrets and sibling loyalty.
Perfect for the fans of Kathryn Hughes and Dorothy Koomson.
When human remains are found on Fitzpatrick Estate, Detective Kelly is drawn deep into the complex web of Fitzpatrick family secrets as Timothy and his sister Rose, now in their sixties, are catapulted into the centre of the investigation.
When the pathology report identifies the remains as that of their uncle, Patrick Fitzpatrick, missing from Fitzpatrick Estate since 1970, they scramble to protect their past.

What would you do to protect the ones you love?

What does TWG think?

Geezus! Nothing like entering the book world with a debut novel like ‘Brothers & Sisters’, is there? A family with a devastating back story. A murder. A dead body. A murder investigation. Enough family secrets to secure a lifetime spot on Jeremy Kyle. It’s safe to say that this debut author hasn’t written the novel by halves – just look at what the book contains!

So much information crammed into such a relatively short space, ‘Brothers & Sisters’ is the type of novel which requires the reader to be focused, especially as the storyline switches between 1970 and 2016, concentration is vital where this book is concerned. Usually books like that confuse me. Thankfully I was able to work out what type of storyline I was dealing with, long before I could get confused.

I have to say, this book contains such a devastating topic which made me feel sick to my stomach. I found it incredibly, incredibly difficult to read due to reasons which aren’t suitable for this review. I understand that the author needed to create an authentic vibe for the overall plot, I just felt that that situation in particular was written in such a black and white manner, thus lowering the sensitivity level of the topic in question. In my eyes, it was too vivid and extremely hard to switch off from.

As for the murder investigation, I enjoyed getting involved in the nitty-gritty parts of that! Perhaps that portion of the story could have been extended to give the readers more of a feel to the murder instead of the family history. That said, the investigation on its own kept my entertained. Simple, yet effective.

‘Brothers and Sisters’ kept me on my toes, enabling my heart to jump into my mouth due to its chilling, shocking, and stomach churning timeline of events. Looking at the shell of the novel; I was entertained to a certain degree, as well as being kept guessing about the conclusion, therefore making the overall premise of the novel a promising read.

However, the horrific subject matter within the storyline was too much to swallow, and extremely difficult to read. For me, those parts of the book made me realise that this book wasn’t my cup of tea, yet Adele O’Neill shows such promise in regards to her writing.

Looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play

#BlogTour! #Review #Excerpt – Dying Art by @MHollingdrake @BloodhoundBook

BLOG TOUR (5)
Big thanks to BloodhoundBooks for inviting me to be involved in Malcolm Hollingdrake’s blog tour! I hope you enjoy my review of ‘Dying Art’, as well as the extract.

DyingArt hand.jpg

Following his recovery from a personal and professional trauma, Detective Chief Inspector Cyril Bennett has been declared medically fit to resume his police duties. He returns to discover a complex case involving the art world.

Soon Bennett unearths a dark side of the industry where greed, ambition and dubious practices thrive and, where there is money to be made, violence and murder are never far away.

Working their way through a maze of galleries, museums and the internet, Bennett’s team struggles to make sense of the evidence.

Can Bennett tell the difference between what is real and what is fake?

What does TWG think?

‘Dying Art’ is the fifth book in the DCI Bennett series and, whilst it had been confirmed that this book could be read as a standalone (my green light for reviewing the book), I completely disagree with that. ‘Dying Art’, in my opinion, cannot be read as a standalone novel. I felt as though I was missing out on a lot of information regarding Cyril Bennett, including both personal and professional relationships. I didn’t have the back story. I didn’t know what had happened in the previous books. If ‘Dying Art’ was meant to be read as a standalone, I should have been able to start the novel without feeling as though I was walking into an already half told story. But I didn’t.

However, the overall premise of Malcolm Hollingdrake’s novel was quite intriguing, as well as being full of a lot of promise. The storyline being centred around real and fake art was such a clever idea. So unique. I enjoyed how the history of said art was severely entwined, requiring a lot of chiseling away to get to the bottom of the investigation. Hats off to the author for keep the investigation consistent, especially as there were so many characters and different viewpoints involved, I was quite impressed at the ease of which they were described. How the author didn’t get confused is beyond me!

Personally, I found the heart of the investigation to be my most favourite part of the book. It’s unique approach made me sit up and take notice, securing my attention for the rest of the investigation. As for the overall novel; I did struggle with the majority of the book for reasons I mentioned above. ‘Dying Art’ as a whole didn’t blow me away, yet ‘Dying Art’ as an investigation itself; did.

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

Buy now.

Extract.

The sun hung like a limp, yellow balloon in the early morning Yorkshire
sky; it was neither high nor low but at a height that was blinding both for the few
drivers and even fewer pedestrians alike. It would prove to be far from innocent.
For Nathalie Gray, it was a total nuisance. Each step of this part of her morning
run was becoming unacceptably difficult. The lack of suitable pavement was also
a hindrance.
‘Merde!’ she whispered under her breath as her foot dipped into the third
pothole within a hundred yards. She made a mental note to wear sunglasses on
her next run.
She had pounded the same route for four consecutive mornings and this
was the first day of sunshine; she was so ill-prepared. Within the hour she would
be back at the hotel, she would have breakfasted and be heading for the
Conference Centre and the Antiques and Fine Art Fair. It was the penultimate day
of her annual working pilgrimage to Harrogate. The songs of Jack Savoretti
caressed her ears, blocking out the surrounding sounds; there were few, not
surprisingly, considering where she was and the time of day.
The silver-grey Lexus had passed her ten minutes previously. The driver
knew Nathalie’s route, she had run a convenient distance behind her each day,
but today was to be different, very different. Monica parked the car at the side of
the road and waited. There was no tail of grey smoke from the exhaust of the
now stationary vehicle. The driver, ever alert, was sensing her pending and
approaching prey. The hybrid car sat ready to pounce; it would do so electrically
and silently. The driver checked the rear view mirror and yawned. The occasional early morning and late night were tolerable, but four in a row were
proving unacceptable, especially considering the exercise.
She lowered herself into the seat as the runner came into view. Pulling
down the sun visor with her gloved hand, she slipped on a pair of sunglasses.
Within seconds, Nathalie was closing on the car, now a dark silhouette ahead in
her path. The driver saw her turn her head as if checking there were nothing
approaching from behind in preparation for rounding the parked car, unlikely
considering the time of the morning, but it was more instinctive. She quickly
veered to the right and ran around the parked obstacle, unaware of the driver’s
presence. She checked her watch and in spite of the dazzling sun she was still on
schedule.
It was then, when she was a hundred yards past the parked car, that she
suddenly pulled up abruptly as a startled rabbit sprang from the hedge. It paused
briefly before darting, bob-tailed across her immediate path and vanishing
magically into the far hedge. Nathalie raised her hand, shielding the sun so as to
allow her eyes to focus on the white, swiftly-disappearing tail. A smile came to
her lips. It’s like ‘Watership Down’, she thought, her breathing slowly steadying as
she bent at the waist to take a deep inhale. It would be the last thing that would
pass through her mind as the blinding sun was swiftly snuffed like a candle flame
touched by wet fingers. Her breathing stopped seconds later.