#TheDaySheCameBack @MrsAmandaProwse @BOTBSPublicity #BookReview #AmandaProwse

It feels like it has been ages since I last read an Amanda Prowse novel! Many thanks to Sarah for asking me to be involved in the blog tour for ‘The Day She Came Back’, and to the publisher for supplying me with a review copy.

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: how do you forgive the family that lied to you, and love the mum you never had?

When her loving, free-spirited grandmother Primrose passes away, Victoria is bereft, yet resilient—she has survived tragedy before. But even her strength is tested when a mysterious woman attends Prim’s funeral and claims to be the mother Victoria thought was dead.

As the two women get to know each other and Victoria begins to learn more about her past, it becomes clear that her beloved grandmother had been keeping life-changing secrets from her. Desperate for answers, she still struggles to trust anyone to tell her the truth.

To live a full and happy life, Victoria knows she must not only uncover the truth, but find a way to forgive her family. But after so many years, is trusting them even possible?


What does TWG think?

Can you imagine being told one thing for the duration of your life so far, only to then be told that it was a complete lie? I don’t mean being told that your favourite Teddy has been binned, despite being told that it was in the loft, or some other not so important lie. I’m meaning a massive, your mother is dead, oh wait….she’s not, type of lie. I cannot even begin to think about how Victoria felt after being betrayed by the person she trusted the most.

Obviously there are two sides to every story, and the reasons behind the betrayal become a lot clearer as the storyline progresses. However, being the cynic that I am, i couldn’t quite see how the lie was justified at all. Yes, Victoria’s grandmother had her best interests at heart, I’m not disputing that at all, but to say that her mother was dead when she wasn’t, is a step too far in my eyes.

Just to clarify, my points so far are not spoilers because they’re in the blurb….just incase anyone was thinking that I had ruined the book!

I’ll give Victoria her due, I certainly couldn’t have done what she did by meeting up with the new found person in her life. Then again, I can definitely see how being intrigued about any information she could have been given, would have been enough to go through with it.

For a young adult, Victoria seemed to have a good head on her shoulders….well, until the one night where she didn’t. Don’t blame her though, grief does weird things to your mind! What I am curious about though, is if Primose stayed alive, would Victoria be able to forgive her? Was the death of her grandmother enough to build the bridge between betrayal and moving on?

Betrayal is such a personal thing, something which nobody can truly understand unless they are the people, or person, going through said thing at said time. Nobody has any right to tell you how to feel, or that your feelings are unjustified all because they are different to how they would act. The thing is, with a topic so deep routed such as this, surmising our own reactions to it would be nion impossible because, think about it; if Victoria struggled to work out what to do and she was slap bang in the centre of everything, how would we, people who are outsider’s looking in, manage to work it out?

What I loved most about this book was the way in which Amanda Prowse made her characters come to life, and the way in which she believed in their journeys. A lot of the topics discussed in this book are ones of the quite serious nature. Topics which need to be fed well in order to be believable and realistic, and I felt that Amanda Prowse went above and beyond to make that happen. Now, I’m not entirely sure whether the author has been through similar things in her life, however I felt like she had a connection to her characters that comes with understanding what they are going through or what they have been through. That sort of understanding comes with life lessons and not through Google – I may be wrong though! Either way, I truly felt what Amanda Prowse was trying to convey. I would even go as far to say that it was magic.

‘The Day She Came Back’ is a wholesome, enlightening, thought provoking, hopeful read that takes you down paths you probably never expected to go on. The beauty of this novel is the sense of being understood, something that is so simple to say, yet one of the most complicated things to do. Amanda Prowse nails it, brilliantly.

Buy now.

This is the one time I’m happy to admit being #DeadWrong! @nholten40 @0nemorechapter_ @BOTBSPublicity #blogtour #review

Thanks so much to sarah from BOTBSPublicity for inviting me to take part in much loved blogger and author, Noelle Holten’s blog tour. Also thank you to the publisher for the ARC too. Here is my review:

The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…

They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…

But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.

Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

What does TWG think?

Before reading ‘Dead Wrong’ I was well aware of the authors jet black mind and, if I’m being perfectly honest, I was in awe of how quickly her mind manages to conjure up situations that are so clever, and so well thought out.

Having now read ‘Dead Wrong’, I am even more impressed by this authors talent than I was at the beginning! Bill Raven is everyone’s worst nightmare, and there were many moments where i felt like reading through my fingers because of the discomfort and uncertainty which surrounded that particular character. He was such a chilling character to read about yet, as weird as this sounds, I think he gave the storyline THE edge.

I dont know what it is about DC Maggie Jamieson, but I still cannot seem to work her out. I struggled to gel with her in the first book, and again I found her to be a quite a two dimensional character. Maybe that is just her personality, after all you cant like every single character in a book!

Noelle Holten has hit the nail on the head in terms of suspense, and I thoroughly enjoyed the psychological elements of the story especially. Its evident that Holten knows the genre in depth due to her professional history, and shes certainly making the most of that knowledge with this riveting and dynamic read. Roll on book three!

Buy now.

She thinks that shes #ThePerfectMother… @caroline_writes @amazonpub @BOTBSPUBLICITY #review

Many thanks to Sarah for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of ‘The Perfect Mother’ by Caroline Mitchell.

She thought they wanted her baby. But they won’t stop there.

Roz is young, penniless and pregnant. All she wants is to be the perfect mother to her child, but the more she thinks about her own chaotic upbringing, the more certain she is that the best life for her baby is as far away as possible from her hometown in Ireland.

Determined to do the right thing, Roz joins an elite adoption service and can’t believe her luck. Within days she is jetting to New York to meet a celebrity power couple desperate for a child of their own. Sheridan and Daniel are wealthy and glamorous—everything Roz isn’t. Her baby will never go hungry, and will have every opportunity for the perfect life. But soon after Roz moves into their plush basement suite, she starts to suspect that something darker lurks beneath the glossy surface of their home.

When Roz discovers she isn’t the first person to move in with the couple, and that the previous woman has never been seen since, alarm bells start ringing. As the clock ticks down to her due date, Roz realises her unborn baby may be the only thing keeping her alive, and that despite her best intentions, she has walked them both into the perfect nightmare…

What does TWG think?

As mothers, well as parents even, we just want the best for our children, even if that means making a decision that ends up breaking your own heart in the process.

Roz has found herself in a bit of a sticky situation after she finds out that shes pregnant. With anxiety gnawing away at her, Roz feels like she would do more harm to her child by bringing it up herself, than if she gave the opportunity to someone else. A stranger. A family who would do anything for a baby to call their own….

Clearly it wasnt all plain sailing or there wouldn’t even be a book! Let’s just say that my nerves were shot to schnitzel by the end of the book. This is some seriously dark stuff! Remind me to never get on the authors bad side!!

I thought the suspense was outstanding and cleverly done as, what I thought would be a psychologically laced novel, ended up being so much more than that and kept on surprising me.

At times the storyline was quite hard to read due to the topic, but I found that to be more aesthetically pleasing in terms of realism and what not.

Yet another high end, thrilling read from an author who certainly knows how to put pen to paper.

Buy now.

Has anyone met #TheManAcrossTheStreet? #blogtour @BOTBSPublicity @marcie_steele

Marcie Steele was one of THE very first authors I reviewed on my blog back in 2016, and I am delighted to say that she is back with a new series! I have the pleasure of reviewing Marcie’s first book in her new series, ‘The Man Across The Street’ on my blog today. Many thanks to the author for my review copy, and to Sarah for the blog tour invite.

Maybe I’m scared to be happy…

Meet Hannah – she’s been her mum’s sole carer since she was eighteen. Now alone after Martha’s sudden death, Hannah feels lost in the only place she’s known as home, Hope Street. Coming up to a milestone birthday, she’s wondering what her purpose in life is.

Meet Doug – a workaholic, he’s in the office from dusk ’til dawn, and when he has a heart attack. Now on the mend, he needs to de-stress his life and focus on living it, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Doug moves to Hope Street, number 35. Hannah lives at number 34, directly opposite. From the moment they meet, there’s a spark.

But there are secrets too. Hannah’s mum has been keeping something from her, her sister left over twenty years ago, and there can’t be such a simple reason why Doug has moved to Somerley. Can there?

The Man Across the Street is the first of a new series by bestselling author, Marcie Steele. It features a host of characters living on Hope Street in the market town of Somerley, also featured in The Somerley Series. Each character will have their own standalone story in books to follow.

What does TWG think?

I was SO excited when the news hit that Marcie Steele was back! It’s been several years since this author has graced us with a new book, however fans of Mel Sherratt will understand why!!

When I started this book, I was a bit taken aback by the storyline, as I felt such a dark vibe emulating from the characters that i wasnt really expecting. I mean, the characters live on ‘Hope Street’! I was expecting a lot of hope, naturally, and that was something I felt I didn’t quite get.

Hannah has had her own fair share of upsetting circumstances. Doug, too, has had HIS own fair share of heartbreak. Other characters in the story were honest about the upset that they had also endured in their life. Now there clearly isnt anything wrong with honesty, but when I had so many characters around me with upsetting stories, I felt quite sad and in a little slump. I didn’t feel hopeful. I didn’t feel positive. Instead, I had a cloud hanging over my head.

The beauty of this book is that the author shows that even through dark times, there will always be a little ray of sunshine at some point in our lives, whether it be a weekly routine with a friend, a random joke, a little smile. So even though the storyline was ver uncertain, the author kept the entire book realistic in the vein that bad things do happen, and people still live their lives despite enduring various different heartbreaks. Reality isnt always sunshine and rainbows and I appreciated it. I really did.

I really enjoyed the sheer honesty behind the characters, and I loved how Marcie Steele has come back with a writing style that oozes strength, maturity, ambition and poise. Not that she didn’t have that before, because she did! She has just come back with a bang!

‘The Man Across the Street’ is a true representation of life and loss, friendships and relationships, good times and bad times. The vibe may have been uncertain to begin with, yet by the end of the book my heart was fit to burst with hope and warmth. This is such a feel good, enlightening story that will keep you cosy during these cold, winter nights.

Buy now from Amazon.

#MorcambeandVice #BlogTour! #Review – #WhatLiesBuried by Margaret Kirk (@HighlandWriter) @BOTBSPublicity @MorecambeVice

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Many thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Morcambe and Vice’, where I will be reviewing ‘What Lies Buried’ from one of the attendees to the festival, Margaret Kirk. Thanks go to the author for the copy to read also. Before I begin my review, here is a link to the Morecambe and Vice website, where you’ll be able to find out more about the crime writing festival, as well as the details about tickets and such:

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Click here to find out more:

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A missing child. A seventy-year-old murder. And a killer who’s still on the loose.

Ten year-old Erin is missing; taken in broad daylight during a friend’s birthday party. With no witnesses and no leads, DI Lukas Mahler races against time to find her. But is it already too late for Erin – and will her abductor stop at one stolen child?

And the discovery of human remains on a construction site near Inverness confronts Mahler’s team with a cold case from the 1940s. Was Aeneas Grant’s murder linked to a nearby POW camp, or is there an even darker story to be uncovered?

With his team stretched to the limit, Mahler’s hunt for Erin’s abductor takes him from Inverness to the Lake District. And decades-old family secrets link both cases in a shocking final twist.

What does TWG think?

‘What Lies Buried’ is the second instalment in the DI Lukas Mahler series. I haven’t read the first book, ‘Shadow Man’, but I found this book alright to read as a standalone. That said, I think I probably would have benefited from knowing more of the backstory of the characters before reading the second book.

With the storyline being centred around the disappearance of a young child, the entire book has such a dark and uncertain vibe to it which made me both uncomfortable and weirdly addicted. It’s always difficult to read storylines where young children go missing or are murdered, I’m not going to lie!

‘What Lies Buried’ is my first book by Margaret Kirk and I have to say that I was very impressed by the authors attention to detail when it came to describing the case, as well as the emotions of all of those involved.

I thoroughly enjoyed following the police procedural side of the book, and I found the characters to be such a colourful and gregarious bunch. This isn’t a fast paced novel at all due to the content of the book, however the slow and steady pace works.

Definitely an intriguing and dark Scottish thriller!

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Extract from ‘A Cruel Deception’ by Kim Booth (@K_B_Author) @BOTBSPublicity

Many thanks to Sarah for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘A Cruel Deception’ by Kim Booth. Here is an extract from the book, as well as the blurb and the all important ‘buy’ link:

For Joan and Ted Warner, an innocent and trusting couple, a chance encounter with Barbara Hendry, a cunning con-woman who turned their settled lives into a living nightmare

The Warners were not victims of a remote scam, carried out over the internet by fraudsters from afar. For six years, faking a friendship face-to-face, this plausible woman carried off the impersonation of a member of the nobility fallen on hard times, manipulating the emotions of her victims, deceitfully draining them of every penny they had set aside for their retirement, and plunging them into debt.

Hendrys intention was to slip away, having sucked the Warners dry of all their hard-earned savings. But for some dogged investigative work by a determined detective she would have succeeded- and remained free to prey on other vulnerable victims.

Follow this journey of fraud and depravity in the company of the one man who knows the full story – the British detective who cracked the case and brought Barbara Hendry to justice.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

During the following months and after having spent a large amount away on the fraud enquiry it was time to return to getting on with my local work and wait for justice to take its course. I had left requests for statements to be recorded from witnesses that I had been unable to see and was waiting for any replies. In my absence there had been a number of burglaries at large houses on the patch that needed looking into, I still had the enquiry to pursue where an “additional” grave had been discovered by a gardener in a local graveyard and I had also been given an enquiry to look into about some very suspicious “goings-on” and a very large country house in the north of the patch. Gossip was rife about women being chased around the very large gardens of the premises scantily clad, chauffer driven cars arriving at all hours of the day and night being let into the premises which were guarded by very large metal gates. I decided to go and take a look to see what was going on, and when I approached the gate was met by a very large male with no neck who when I enquired as to who lived there was told in no uncertain terms to “Piss off!” not a good move really by the man on the gate it only served to feed my appetite as to what was going on.

I had not introduced myself for fear of compromising any future enquiries but as it turned out the premises were owned and being used by a multi-national company as a “knocking shop” where executives would no doubt take advantage of the pleasures on offer to ease the process of any business negotiations! The premises later featured in a national corruption enquiry involving a well-known national company.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheFriendWhoLied by Rachel Amphlett (@RachelAmphlett) @BOTBSPublicity

Last but not least, another BOTBSPublicity blog tour to end the day, this time for Rachel Amphlett and ‘The Friend Who Lied’. Many thanks to Sarah for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review:

What she doesn’t know might kill her…

Lisa Ashton receives a last-minute reprieve from death two weeks before her birthday. Regaining consciousness, she is horrified to learn one of her friends has been killed – and saved her life.
As she recovers, she uncovers a trail of carefully guarded reputations, disturbing rumours, and lies. Soon, Lisa begins to wonder if one of her friends is hiding a terrible secret.
Because five of them entered the escape room that day, and only four got out alive.
And someone is determined to cover their tracks before she can find out the truth.

Can Lisa find the killer before someone else dies?

What does TWG think?

Wowza!! Nothing like coming back to reality with a bang! Why did the book have to end! Rudeness!!

‘The Friend Who Lied’ reminded me of Cleudo…in book form! Obviously not the whole candlestick and all that jazz, but the overall premise of the story if that makes sense. Such an incredibly clever way of putting a story together, and so very well thought out.

Lisa’s life has been saved. Just. However someone she knows was killed, therefore saving her. But how did they die? Lisa wants to get to the bottom of what had happened and, even though she is over the moon that her life was saved, the relief is tainted due to the loss of her friend.

This was such a thrilling, cat and mouse type of read. There was danger, suspense, shocking discoveries, and the added bonus of feeling like a detective. Honestly, Rachel Amphlett made the chase thrilling, and the pace rocket like. I genuinely was gutted that the book had come to an end because I had found myself so invested in trying to work out who killed Simon, as well as unearthing some of the other characters secrets.

A chilling, unnerving, cleverly crafted novel – I would have hated being the ‘mouse’ in this book, that’s for sure!!

Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor and English Spy Mysteries espionage novels and theDetective Kay Hunter British police procedural series.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.