#BlogTour! #Review – The Visitors by Catherine Burns (@C_Burnzi) @Legend_Press

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Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.

What does TWG think?

With a tagline such as; ‘Can you escape the darkness within?’, I knew that unless I read the book, I would forever be wondering what that tagline meant. What darkness? Who needs to escape? Intrigued? You bet.

However, what I expected from the novel compared to what I actually read were two completely different things. I expected the storyline to be as punchy as the tagline on the front of the cover, but what I got was a carefully crafted, very well written novel, with a lot of creepy situations and complex characters added in for good measure.

Of course having a well thought out novel is a positive, especially if the writing is executed in a way which makes high-end literary readers sing from the rooftops. Because folks, ‘The Visitors’ IS beautifully written. So much so, I often found myself forgetting the genre I was reading. The authors words flew off the pages in their own little way – coming together in such a spellbinding manner, ready for the next part of the book.

I just couldn’t get a feel for the storyline itself as everything happened so slowly, I felt as though I was on a constant look-out for the nitty-gritty parts to show up. The authors words had promise. Hell, they even kept me reading the novel despite the slow burning storyline!

When the storyline DID get going, it felt a little bit too late. So much was squashed into, what I thought, was a short space of time and seemed to leave me with more questions than answers. Yet, thanks to the authors highly descriptive and majestic writing style, I ended up being creeped out on that alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the novel, because I did. I wouldn’t have kept reading it otherwise. Catherine Burns is, quite clearly, a fantastic writer. She managed to keep my attention with her writing style and use of language. In my eyes, the way the author executed the novel’s shell, was the star of the book. As for the overall storyline however, it certainly has promise.

Thanks Legend Press.

Buy now.

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister (@theladygreer) @legend_press

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Huge thanks to Legend Press for asking me to kick off Greer Macallister’s blog tour for the paperback release of ‘The Magician’s Lie’. Here is my review:

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The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. But one night she swaps her trademark saw for an axe.

When Arden’s husband is found dead later that night, the answer seems clear, most of all to young policeman Virgil Holt.

Captured and taken into custody, all seems set for Arden’s swift confession. But she has a different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless, and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding.

A magical and mysterious historical thriller, perfect for fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants.

What does TWG think?

I’ve got to be honest. If I was nosing through Amazon looking for a new book to read, there would be a slim chance ‘The Magician’s Lie’ would be the one I would usually pick. Why? Because magically inspired novels haven’t really made me go ‘ooooooh’ before. I’ve always thought that the storylines would be too far-fetched which meant that I have been bypassing these novels, purely based on assumption and lack of ‘ooooooh’ feeling. The question I asked myself upon finishing this novel was – ‘have I been missing out on some cracking reads?’. Answering that honestly, if all of the magically inspired murder mysteries out there are similar to Greer Macallister’s novel then yes, I have been missing out on some good reads.

If it wasn’t for Legend Press pointing ‘The Magician’s Lie’ in my direction, I would never have come across it on my accord, and for that I am quite thankful. Don’t get me wrong, some parts of the storyline were a little bit slow burning and made me lose interest a little bit. But, overall, I was genuinely surprised by how hooked on this book I was.

Straight away I was pulled into the storyline by the prologue and, laying all my cards on the table, I assumed the answer was clear. Once again my assumptions prove irrelevant but the shock factor was such a welcome surprise. However getting to the all important storyline conclusion was a definite slow burner. Whilst I wanted the author to get the point, I understood how vital some of the information Greer Macallister included, was. Did I think all of it was? No, I didn’t, yet the change of genre and overall storyline theme was incredibly refreshing. I surprised myself by enjoying the magical side to the novel, including the more in-depth parts of the tricks. Far fetched or not, it certainly is a talent.

I enjoyed the mysterious element of the storyline, especially the ‘whodunit?’ part as it meant the reader was able to get involved in the storyline by trying to piece everything together. Did I miss part of the storyline? Who was with ‘The Amazing Arden’ on the night? Why did she change from a saw to an axe? All these questions I tried to answer yet just like Virgil Holt, I had to be patient. ‘The Amazing Arden’ is such a complex character who, even when the storyline came to an end, I felt like there was so much more to the character than what we saw which piqued my interest even more. What happened to her once the conclusion was reached? Where did she go? What happened to her show?

Of course the likelihood of me finding out those answers are extremely slim, but the fact the author has managed to keep my interest even after the story has ended, is absolutely brilliant. Especially since this genre wasn’t my cup of tea to begin with.

Honestly? ‘The Magician’s Lie’ didn’t blow me away yet I really enjoyed the majority of the novel. I definitely will be reading Greer Macallister’s next novel after this.

Huge thanks to Legend Press.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

#BlogTour! #Extract from Ideal Love – Alice Burnett @BurnettBooks @Legend_Press

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Delighted to be kicking off Alice Burnett’s blog tour today with an extract from ‘Ideal Love’, which was published on 1st August in e-book by Legend Press. Happy paperback publication day to Alice Burnett, however, as ‘Ideal Love’ is available to buy in paperback from today! I will be reviewing the book at a later date also; cannot wait to get stuck in!

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After an argument with her husband Gilles, Venus Rees is left devastated by his sudden death. But when she discovers that he
died of a treatable genetic condition she knew nothing about, she is haunted by
the thought that he didn’t love her enough to save himself. As time passes,
Venus looks set to be trapped between grief and distrust forever. Until she meets
the shy, good-looking and seemingly ideal Alex.

Intertwining Venus’s compelling attraction to Alex in the present with
Gilles’ enraptured pursuit of her in the past, Ideal Love is an intimate and
life-affirming novel about love, from its incandescent beginnings to its final
breath and back again.

Buy ‘Ideal Love’ now in e-book or paperback.

Extract of ‘Ideal Love’ by Alice Burnett.

1

‘Cheek To Cheek’ by Irving Berlin

It was 25 September 1997, I was twenty-six and I had no idea the evening ahead of me would change my life.

‘Gilles – ’ Tim Woodward was whispering at my office door.

‘Ah thank God, let’s go.’

We exchanged nods with my principal and I steered Wood out of the building.

He was slightly less miserable than when I’d first suggested tonight’s party. We had a laugh about a keen fellow trainee on our way to the tube and I got a glimpse of the Wood of old. But whatever else happened that night, one mission had been accomplished – Wood was neither at his desk nor at home listening to Mozart’s Requiem.

He’d been single for a year, I’d only had six days of it, but I was the one who couldn’t sit still. We went down the escalators and squeezed on to a carriage. He’d gone too far into the darkness. I hadn’t expected my girlfriend to call it off either, I’d been upset. But the two of us were like travellers who’d teamed up only to realise we’d arrived, nothing was keeping us together. She’d just bothered to understand that and take action. And with enough notice for me to hear about this party, get Tim invited and coax him into showing up.

We stepped out of Covent Garden tube and I told him to prepare himself. It was going to be a beautiful night.

‘So it’s all over with Anna then?’ he asked bleakly. ‘Yup,’ I said, walking on.
‘Sorry to hear that.’
‘No, she did us both a favour.’

‘She seemed genuine to me.’
‘Yeh, she was, the spark just went out.’
Tim sighed. ‘Gilles, I hate to break this to you, but at some point you’ve got to stop thinking with your dick and grow up.’

A group of girls paraded past, like an erotic pat on the back. I could sense them with my eyes closed.

‘Tim,’ I said as they walked away, ‘twenty quid says I leave with a woman and you don’t.’

Tim raised his eyes and went quiet. I didn’t speak.

‘All right, all right,’ he said as if I hadn’t stopped talking. ‘Done.’

We walked into the club entrance and down the stairs, pulled under by the waves of sound and body heat, until we reached a kind of massive volcanic cave which my friend’s sister’s twenty-first had filled beyond imagining. The DJ was charging it up with seventies funk – there must have been over a hundred women on the dance oor alone – not only that, the men were all at the bar, dutifully perpetuating that great English ritual of refusing to dance with the women. What was this if not the promised land?

It didn’t take long before I was mesmerised. I pointed out the blond woman with the incredible figure to Tim. Tim said she looked aloof, but that on the plus side, this would help her shake off lust-crazed French bastards like me. I brought his attention to a sweet-looking, dark-haired girl I thought he might like, but he wasn’t convinced. I finally got Tim to concede that the blond one was ‘superficially attractive yes, but nice, no’, and went over and bought her a drink.

Her face wasn’t quite so pretty close up, but then again I clearly hadn’t made her day. She wasn’t interested in conversation and when I asked her to dance she looked at me like I’d told her a bad joke. Did I still smell of rejection? Surely not, it had been nearly a week.

Then I got lucky. She liked lawyers, especially city lawyers. She made a remark about my hair, and I said it was straight before I saw her. She laughed, and looked at me and carried on laughing, beyond the time allotted.

I went from trainee solicitor to cash-laden hotshot in ve minutes. She became a stream of gazes, a sweetshop of breasts, waist and thighs, drinking with me, dancing with me, not objecting to the feel of my hands. At least an hour must have gone by. One of her friends interrupted to complain about a girl they both knew. I went to get drinks and came back into focus. I couldn’t see Tim anywhere and wondered if he’d left. He didn’t get it. You just had to throw yourself and see where you landed.

But waiting in the crush at the bar, I glanced over at the one I’d been with as she dished it out, her expression as cold and dismissive as when I’d rst asked her to dance.

Nice no, I thought.

Back together, we found a quiet spot on the other side of the dance oor, and she was all hospitality, the sweetshop door open, the jars within reach.

We left the club. Cooling off on the pavement, I found myself asking her to dinner the following Thursday. Did people do that? But within a minute, she’d accepted, I’d hailed her a cab, kissed her goodnight and lost myself twenty quid.

I went back in to look for Tim.

#BlogTour! #Review – Little Gold by Allie Rogers (@alliewhowrites) @legend_press #LittleGold

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Day three of the blog tour today, and the tour bus has stopped at TWG HQ! I have had the privilege of reviewing ‘Little Gold’ by Allie Rogers, and I am honoured to be sharing that review with you today. Enjoy!

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The heat is oppressive and storms are brewing in Brighton in the summer of 1982. Little Gold, a boyish girl on the brink of adolescence, is struggling with the reality of her broken family and a home descending into chaos. Her only refuge is the tree at the end of her garden.

Into her fractured life steps elderly neighbour, Peggy Baxter. The connection between the two is instant, but just when it seems that Little Gold has found solace, outsiders appear who seek to take advantage of her frail family in the worst way possible. In an era when so much is hard to speak aloud, can Little Gold share enough of her life to avert disaster? And can Peggy Baxter, a woman running out of time and with her own secrets to bear, recognise the danger before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

For a 288 page novel, ‘Little Gold’ certainly packs a punch. Set in Brighton, 1982, the storyline centres around Little Gold and her family. Well, her broken family to be exact. Life for Little Gold isn’t as straightforward as a childhood should be and her only safety net is a tree at the bottom of the garden. Whenever LG climbs up that tree she feels as free as a bird but as soon as her feet touch the ground again, reality switches off the light and takes her back to the dark place once again.

I’m not going to lie, I really did struggle with this storyline whilst I was reading it. I could understand most of the concept, yet I struggled to connect it all together to form a complete storyline. I’m not sure whether that was because the plot contained really intense messages and dark circumstances, or whether it was because I couldn’t connect to pieces of the book emotionally.

It wasn’t until a day or so after I had completed the book, that I had a lightbulb moment where the storyline was concerned. All of the various circumstances within the book, as well as all of the different emotions, FINALLY pieced themselves together in my mind. I finally had worked out what the complete message of the novel was! Obviously I’m not going to give anything away, but, make sure that you keep an open mind whilst reading ‘Little Gold’, don’t expect things to make sense automatically as you need to read between the lines without overthinking.

Now I finally understand the beauty of ‘Little Gold’, I can appreciate what the author was trying to do with Little Gold and Peggy Baxter. Two complete different characters to look at, yet two very similar characters personality wise. I’ll admit, several things which LG and her family went through really caught me, as Rogers had described each situation with such intensity and realism, creating powerful and vivid imagery in my mind. It was moments like that which took my breath away.

I am so glad that the beauty of Little Gold revealed itself to me in it’s own way. I would have been so disappointed in myself if I hadn’t been able to work out what message the author was trying to convey within her words. Such beautiful, beautiful words which were full of promise, hope and strength; just like Little Gold.

Heart-warming, powerful and thought provoking; ‘Little Gold’ will have you wearing your heart on your sleeve; you just need to surrender to the intensity of Allie Rogers words. Trust me, they’re gold; Little Gold.

Thank you Legend Press.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review of ‘Blame’ by Paul Read (@paulreadauthor) @legend_press #Blame

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Not only do I get the honour of kicking off Paul Read’s blog tour (thanks Lucy!!), today is also Paul Read’s publication day woot!! ‘Blame’ is now available for you all to buy, congratulations Paul!
My stop today consists of a review, along with the all important ‘to buy’ link at the very end. Enjoy!

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It is the summer of 1989 when Lucas witnesses an event that will tear his family apart. Over a decade later, his estranged father succumbs to a suspected heart attack.

Lucas shuns grief and escapes to New York with his colleague Mariana. However, a dark secret from his past threatens to re-emerge and destroy the burgeoning relationship before it has even begun.

When his father’s girlfriend fails to reappear after reporting his death, the true cause of his demise falls under scrutiny. And as the startling truth comes to light, Lucas must confront the fact that father and son may not have been so different after all.

What does TWG think?

I’ve got to be honest, I spent the first couple of chapters wondering what the hell was going on! There was a lot of half answered questions at first, so when the storyline introduced a new character or a new situation I had quite a collection of question marks camping out over my head. Yeah it did confuse me as I wanted to find out what happened and I wasn’t getting the answers quick enough! Oh by the way, I’m really not complaining at all! I was just getting very impatient due to my extreme curiosity!

This review could potentially be shorter than my other ones as most of the vital information is linked to pretty much everything! Basically, I can’t take the chance with spoilers!

‘Blame’ has such a complex and intense storyline which the main characters manage to add a completely different dimension to. We follow Lucas’ journey where we see him battle multiple demons (namely himself), as well as seeing the storyline return to another point in his life with even more questionable demons. There are a lot of colourful personalities who pop in and out of Lucas’ journey, some who make themselves more known than the others (and not in a good way).

Reading ‘Blame’ opened my eyes in more ways than one, to a whole new lifestyle I had never acknowledged before. Well, I have never had the need to acknowledge it before and from an outsiders point of view, I felt that it would be best to remove my own personal views from the equation and read the book with a very basic outlook.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book I must admit, even though some situations were quite difficult to read, Paul Read laid it all bare and wrote it very black and white. There was no fluffing, it was quite raw and…honest. One thing that did irk me about the overall storyline was how it kept building up, and building up, creating more suspense with every turn of the page and then….

I was hoping for a smidge more as I certainly thought that it was heading in that direction. Having said that, I still really enjoyed the novel nonetheless and nothing felt ruined for me, personally. There does seem to be scope for even more to the storyline so I have my fingers crossed for another book of a similar nature. Actually, I’d be happy with another book overall!

A very poignant, gritty and powerful read from start to finish, I highly recommend reading ‘Blame’ and I am really looking forward to seeing what Paul Read has up his sleeve for his next book!

Thanks Legend Press!

Buy ‘Blame’ by Paul Read, on Amazon UK