#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 & #Extract – Her Last Breath by @TracyBuchanan @AvonBooksUK

HLB Blog tour

Tracy Buchanan’s blog tour ends with me, TWG! I am delighted to be able to share my review of ‘Her Last Breath’ with you guys, alongside an extract from the book itself. Big thanks to Avon Books for inviting me on this fabulous tour!

Her Last Breath Cover
A girl has gone missing. You’ve never met her, but you’re to blame.

FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF MY SISTER’S SECRET AND NO TURNING BACK

Food writer Estelle Forster has the perfect life. And with her first book on the way, it’s about to get even better.

When Estelle hears about Poppy O’Farrell’s disappearance, she assumes the girl has simply run away. But Estelle’s world crumbles when she’s sent a photo of Poppy, along with a terrifying note: I’m watching you. I know everything about you.

Estelle has no idea who’s threatening her, or how she’s connected to the missing teen, but she thinks the answers lie in the coastal town she once called home, and the past she hoped was long behind her.

Estelle knows she must do everything to find Poppy. But how far will she go to hide the truth – that her
perfect life was the perfect lie?

Her Last Breath is an addictive, page-turning read that fans of Liane Moriarty and Claire Douglas will love.

What does TWG think?

I’m genuinely surprised that I didn’t end up using my last breath whilst reading Tracy Buchanan’s novel! Estelle Forster hasn’t exactly had a plain sailing life and, despite coming across as a clean, level-headed author, Estelle fears that her past will come back to haunt her and ruin the life that she has made for herself. When a teenager goes missing and Estelle receives a photo of the missing girl, her perfect image starts to unravel.

What impressed me most about ‘Her Last Breath’, was the amount of dead ends in the storyline! When events started unfolding, I felt pretty certain about a character who I thought was involved due to his behaviour throughout the storyline. However, my certainty was short-lived. I’m not going to lie, that happened on more than one occasion throughout the book.

I found it extremely difficult not to be engrossed by ‘Her Last Breath’ as the suspense level seemed to get raised in every chapter. I was eager to find out what Estelle’s story was and how she ended up receiving photographs of a missing girl. I thought that the lead up to the conclusion was incredibly intense, full of depth and brilliantly written. Without giving anything away, I didn’t see the conclusion coming…at all. I was shocked. I thought I had missed several red flags along the way, and maybe I did. But because I was focusing on other characters involvements, I wasn’t focusing on those involved in the conclusion. It’s kinda crazy how we interpret storylines differently, especially seeing as we focus on different parts and different situations in our own special way.

‘Her Last Breath’ had me hooked from the first page with its chronically addictive plot and intriguing characters. I could not believe what I was reading, I’m surprised I didn’t end up with paper cuts on my fingers due to my swift page turning!

Intense, addictive, and rather shocking, ‘Her Last Breath’ is such a fantastic and more-ish read written by the fantastic Tracy Buchanan.

Thanks Avon Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

[Extract 14 from Chapter 6 pp. 48-49]

After they left, Estelle stayed where she was for a few moments, taking in some deep breaths. After all these years, today, that moment, she knew who her child was. Knew what she looked like. Knew what had become of her. Knew that she had run away from her seemingly perfect family. She blinked away tears and strode into the kitchen, getting her laptop out and searching for information on Poppy and her new family. They clearly had money: her father a TV presenter, her mother an interior designer. She learned they lived in a huge house overlooking Richmond Park. My God, they’d been living less than a half-hour train ride from each other! Poppy attended one of the UK’s top schools and was a keen hockey player. There were photos of Poppy with her father. A beach shot. Another of them walking through muddy puddles as they laughed. There was the dog again too, a golden Labrador puppy.

Poppy had a good life with a well-off family who could provide her with everything she needed. If anything came out of this, Estelle reassured herself, it was that she’d done the right thing giving her up for adoption. There was no way a fifteen-year- old Estelle could have offered the kind of perfect life the O’Farrells had. But, then, why had Poppy run away if it was all so perfect? She was a teenager, Estelle reasoned. Teenagers rebelled. Estelle knew that more than anyone. She’d return safe and sound soon, just like the police officers said.

But why the Polaroid photos, the messages?

#BlogTour! #Review – To Provence, With Love by T.A.Williams (@TAWilliamsbooks) @HQDigitalUK

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Delighted to be one of the bloggers kicking off T.A.Williams’ blog tour for his new book, To Provence, With Love. Super excited to be involved in the blog tour with a review!

To Provence with Love

Escape to the south of France with this perfect feel-good summer romance!

Anything is possible…

Struggling writer Faye Carter just can’t believe her luck. She’s off to Provence to write the autobiography of a famous film star and she’ll be staying in the stunning chateau!

So when she meets charming (and completely gorgeous) lavender farmer, Gavin, she knows that she’s made the right choice – even if glamourous, elderly Anabelle seems to be hiding something…

But when the sun is shining, the food is delicious and the air smells of honey, anything seems possible. Will the magic of Provence help Faye finally find a happy-ever-after of her own?

What does TWG think?

Oh my gosh! Just when I thought that T.A.Williams’ novels couldn’t get any better, he goes and releases a new one which blew me away in a matter of chapters! ‘To Provence, With Love’ is yet another book I just want to scream and shout about, dissect each and every eventuality from the storyline…but I can’t! If I did that, I don’t think I would be at all popular with the author for giving away spoilers.

However, what I can say is that this book is very similar to a treasure chest; full of surprises, emotion, and beautiful words, reading ‘To Provence, With Love’ made me feel as though I had just won the literary lottery. From the outside I had no idea what to expect, (aside from Provence that is), but as soon as I opened the book and lost myself in Faye Carter’s life, I knew that the book was going to be a beauty.

Gavin’s background story tugged at the heart-strings more than once. Even if you’re as cold as ice, that character’s story will have you feeling some sort of emotion. Well, to be honest, all the main characters had quite emotional backgrounds in their own different ways. I loved finding out about Anabelle’s own personal mission, even if part of me could see it coming! Didn’t disappoint me either, to be fair!

I devoured this book in record speed. I couldn’t put it down! The entire novel is written to perfection, the setting is brought to life in such a stunning and vivid way, and all of the characters are likeable and incredibly loveable.

The only slight ‘grrr’ I had with ‘To Provence, With Love’, was the abrupt ending. I wanted more, there is definitely scope for the author to re-visit those characters if he chooses to do so. I hope he does as I felt that it ended far too quickly.

Overall, T.A.Williams’ novel is one of the best summer reads I think I have ever devoured. Once again the author has blown me away and raised the bar higher for himself in regards to his next book.

Highly recommended, ‘To Provence, With Love’ is THE book to read right now.

Thanks HQ Digital UK.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35438059-to-provence-with-love

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0711T5LQC

Author Information

 I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south-west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

Website: http://www.tawilliamsbooks.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TAWilliamsbooks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TrevorWilliamsBooks

#BlogTour! #Review – Ice Lake by @JohnLenahan @killerreads

ICE LAKE Blog Tour Poster

ice lake
…WHERE EVERYBODY LIES. AND SOME PEOPLE KILL…

An electrifying debut crime novel and the first in a new series featuring psychologist Harry Cull. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Peter May.

AN ABANDONED BODY
Deep in the woods of north-eastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.

A HAUNTED PSYCHOLOGIST
Psychologist Harry Cull, tormented by his past, arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation. There he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A DESPERATE KILLER
It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, this time a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

What does TWG think?

‘Ice Lake’ is the first book in the Harry Cull series, so not only was this a brand new series to get my teeth stuck into, it’s also written by an author I have had no literary dealings with before. Not a bad start really, eh?

The cover of ‘Ice Lake’ intrigued me something rotten, the colourful tone of it screams ‘read me’ but with an added ‘dun dun dun’. To say I was excited about reading this book would have been an understatement. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

Set in Pennsylvania, I had to try to re-train my brain as any novels I have read in the past with Pennsylvania in them were from my childhood and included vampires. It’s safe to say that ‘Ice Lake’ does not contain any vampires, but it does contain a murder or too. Same thing I guess!

Straight away this book starts with a murder, and it’s a big one. A local man has been killed – Harry Cull has been asked to arrive on scene and do a bit of Pennsylvanian Jeremy Kyle in the shape of lie detector tests. If I’m perfectly honest, it seems as though every person that Cull comes up against is trying to appear on his ‘liar’ list. The murder investigation didn’t seem to be as straight forward as Harry Cull would have liked, especially when a second body is found and drugs are entered into the mix.

My first impression of John Lenahan’s novel was completely different to what I actually thought when I read the book. For some reason my brain seemed confused by the cover and the actual content of the novel because of the difference. Although saying that, I can’t seem to be able to pinpoint EXACTLY what I found different; except the vibe that is. I’m not saying that in a bad way at all. It’s crazy how strong our first impressions can be when it comes to books.

All in all, ‘Ice Lake’ had me engrossed throughout the entire storyline, my mind was full of questions, and I seemed to spend a lot of the book on my toes. Whilst the book didn’t blow me away as such, there was enough promising content to keep my intrigue level peaked, as well as keeping me entertained.

A very promising start to a new book series, I’m looking forward to book number two!

Thanks Netgalley.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#Review – The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please (@MaddiePlease1) @AvonBooksUK #ARC

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Lottie is about to discover that even when you think you’ve lost everything, hope and romance can be just around the corner . . .

It takes time to build your life. To get into a long-term (OK, a bit boring) relationship. To find a job (you don’t completely hate). Lottie might not be thrilled with the life she’s put together, but it’s the one she’s got.

So when in the course of one terrible evening, it all comes crashing down around her, Lottie has a choice: give herself over to grief at being broke, single and completely lacking in prospects.

Or, brick by brick, build herself a new life. And this time, with a little help from friends, a crumbling cottage in Devon and a handsome stranger, maybe she can make it the one she always wanted.

The Summer of Second Chances is an irresistibly funny read about never giving up, whatever the world throws at you. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Jane Costello and Christie Barlow.

What does TWG think?

If you’re in desperate need of a pick me up, or feel as though your brain has been working overtime and requires an urgent book shaped antidote – then this book is for you.

Lottie has lost everything; her money, her home, her relationship, but most importantly – she has lost her peace of mind. With an uncertain future ahead of her, Lottie needs to make a decision; wallow in self-pity from the discomfort of her car as a new home, OR make the most out of a bad situation and follow the only path that she can see. The only way is up…

What a fab little book! Don’t be fooled by the colourful cover as there is A LOT more to this storyline than meets the eye. Despite the fact that the storyline contains several deep themes, the author has ensured that those moments are laced with some rather unforgettable one-liners.

At the start of the book we see Lottie’s world crumble, but, by the end of the book it’s as though she is a completely different person. To see a character flourish so much in such a short space of time (for us), was quite similar to watching your child learn something new for the first time. I got a bit emosh ;).

Just like Lottie, we have all been put into a situation where we have no idea how to get ourselves out of; ‘The Summer of Second Chances’ reminded me of that fact in a way that made me go ‘oh hang on a minute, I am quite proud of myself’. When we go through difficult times we don’t see our strengths working hard. We bluff. We shrug it off. It’s not until AFTER the event when we’re able to sit and gather our thoughts, and we are able to appreciate what we can do if we have no other option.

For me, this storyline was the perfect reminder of how NOT to give up, as well as advising me that eye-candy was the perfect distraction from any troubles. Obviously I’m not going to disagree with that, are you? Lottie’s new neighbour, Bryn, was such a hoot. He came across as such the opposite to Lottie in terms of mannerisms and traits, that when they were in a conversation, it was like a dog trying to have a chat with a cat. Yet weirdly enough, it worked. Well I think it worked anyway, I may have been too busy laughing!

‘The Summer of Second Chances’, for me, really is a sunshine after the rain type of novel. The storyline contains so much hope – some might mistake it for the gold at the end of a rainbow. I mean, there was nothing black and white about this storyline, at all. Every chapter was full of colour, humour and positivity; I loved it.

I adored this book, I’m not going to lie. I started this book in a bad mood and I finished it with a huge grin on my face. ‘The Summer of Second Chances’ is a diamond in the rough, but it’s a gem of a book that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Thanks Avon.

The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please, will be released on the 17th July 2017. If you wish to pre-order your copy ready, you can do so here.