#BlogTour! #Review of #TheEscape by C.L.Taylor (@callytaylor) @AvonBooksUK

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“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with her biggest and best book yet. The perfect read for fans of Paula Hawkins and Clare Mackintosh.

What does TWG think?

29 days…29 tour stops…and day two is finally here…
I am beyond thrilled to be hosting today’s stop on C.L.Taylor’s blog tour for her new release, #TheEscape, which was published by Avon Books on the 23rd March.

How on EARTH have I not read any of C.L.Taylor’s books before now?! I am ashamed of myself for not sticking my nose into one of her books until ‘The Escape’, but by golly! WHAT a book to start with!!!

Jo, being too trusting, ends up giving a stranger a lift and she soon realises that the stranger is quite clearly not a ‘stranger’ to Jo’s personal life. The stranger knows EVERYTHING and they use their knowledge to their advantage. Unfortunately, this means that Jo is left at a severe disadvantage. She’s anxious, she’s a mother and she feels as though her whole life is about to get taken away from her. There’s only one thing that she can do…escape…

An incredible page turner of a book, The Escape had me flicking through the pages at lightening speed, wanting to digest the storyline as quickly as I could. My maternal instincts kicked in for Jo’s little girl, even though a lot of those uncertain moments were incredibly difficult to read, I felt as though I owed it to that little girl…

I am honestly surprised that I didn’t faint whilst reading this book, as it felt like I was holding my breath the entire time, I don’t recall taking a breath. Even though I could work out bits and pieces of the storyline before they actually happened, the sense of fear and uncertainty jumped off those pages making those ‘known’ moments; unknown.

C.L.Taylor writes the storyline from both Jo and her husband’s, Max. Max describes Jo as severely unstable and seems to be determined to get what he wants. Although to be honest, I wasn’t even sure that Max even knew what he want. During the chapters from Jo’s point of view, my nerves went on high alert as every single noise and emotion that Jo heard and felt; I weirdly felt it too. If Jo looked over her shoulder thinking that she was being followed, I also looked over my shoulder and wondered why I was seeing the back of my sofa and not a path like Jo.

C.L.Taylor has quite clearly researched, and researched, and researched some more, where the procedures and illnesses are concerned. Taylor hasn’t written those parts into the storyline on a whim, thinking that nobody would notice. No. She has taken several illnesses, laid them bare and entwined them in a rollercoaster ride of fear. ‘The Escape’, personally, psychologically stumped me for a good 24 hours after reading it. My emotions and mind were in absolute tatters…and not in a negative way! Thank goodness for having a lot of chocolate in my cupboards to inhale!

‘The Escape’ has enough plot twists to make you require a sat nav. It has enough headfunk material to render you psychologically paused. The storyline offers multiple opportunities to ask yourself a ton of questions to the point you’ll think you’re on an episode of ‘Question Time’. Whilst reading C.L.Taylor’s novel, you may find that your most repeated words are ‘what the…..’.

I am in awe at Taylor’s literary skills with her ability to create a storyline so complex and intense, without losing momentum. I really don’t know the heck she does it, but geeeesh she does it good.
A heart pounding, spine tingling, fear inducing novel from the incredibly talented, C.L.Taylor.
(P.S. I blame you if I end up with a lack of money after buying your back catalogue….sorry, not if…WHEN. -runs to amazon-.

Huge thanks to Avon books for having me on the tour.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Make sure you keep a look out for the other bloggers on C.L.Taylor’s tour (details on pic).

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#BlogTour! #Review – Those Who Lie by Diane Jeffrey (@dianejeffrey) @neverlandbt

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Such an honour to be kicking off Diane Jeffrey’s blog tour for ‘Those Who Lie’! I could not put this book down, at all! I am relieved that my stop is a review so that I can share just how ‘ohmyGOD’, that this book is. Hope you enjoy the tour and keep a look out for the all important ‘to buy’ link at the end of the review!

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Emily Klein doesn’t know she has killed her husband until the day of his funeral.

At first, signs point to a tragic accident. Yet, as Emily pieces together the events before his death – events which led to her own memory loss – she begins to suspect that her husband’s death may have been the result of more than a terrible twist of fate…

But the accident is only the beginning. Because while Emily’s physical scars will heal, the trauma of the accident has awakened old ghosts. She hears strange sounds, catches things that can’t possibly be there in the corner of her eye. Before long, everywhere she looks, she seems to see her husband.

And suddenly, Emily finds herself asking the most dangerous question of all.

Can she really trust herself?

What does TWG think?

Oh.My.GOD! I started ‘Those Who Lie’ one morning and I had it finished by dinner time. Wherever I went my kindle came with me; I HAD to find out who the finger pointed to, did I guess correctly, you know the same thoughts you have with books like this. For me, the first thing that caught my eye on the e-mail of the book was the very first sentence:

‘Emily Klein doesn’t know she has killed her husband until the day of his funeral.’

Errrrr!!! All sorts of things came to mind, yet the most obvious conclusion for Emily not knowing about her husband’s death didn’t even cross my mind. When the reason came to light in the storyline it was as though the first puzzle piece from an intricate puzzle, had just been put down ready for things to unfold.

Then suddenly, BAM. The author took the storyline back (nearly) to where it all began where Emily was concerned. It wasn’t easy to read. It was chilling, intense and made me physically gasp as it took me back to a moment in my own past, that has left an almighty scar. I honestly thought that I would end up giving up the book due to that link between the characters past, and my past, yet I didn’t. I was far to curious about the overall storyline to give up the book due to a small part of it. Far too nosy for that!

As more of the storyline began to unfold, the closer to the edge of the sofa I became as Emily’s past came back to haunt her. She tried to live her life and move forward as a widow, yet something or someone just wouldn’t leave her alone. Was it her subconscious playing tricks on her or was someone really out to get her? Emily tried to confide in the people she trusted the most, but even they started to look at her like she was going crazy. Losing myself in the storyline and the intensity of Emily’s circumstances made ME feel like I was going mad! One moment things were clear in Emily’s life, and then the next moment things became dark, foggy and even more intense. Goose-bump inducing shall we shall!

Of course, I refuse to do the whole spoiler thing in my reviews as one) that’s not fair on you, and two) it’s extremely unfair on the author. If you are curious about anything in this review, you will need to go and buy the book to read it for yourself as every situation, circumstance and level of fear are ALL linked to one another. That’s why this review is exceptionally hard as I want to tell you everything, but…I can’t! Haha.

‘Those Who Lie’ is a complete head-funk of a book that is full of way more twists than even a game of ‘Twister’ can handle. Also, being red herring galore, this storyline will have you attempting to solve the mystery one moment, to mirroring Emily’s emotions the next. Let’s just say that every single noise I heard after reading this book, made me jump out of my skin and convince myself that I had a nosy parker in my garden (I didn’t btw).

Diane Jeffrey totally blew my mind with such a belter of a storyline and a conclusion even I didn’t see coming. An absolutely fantastic read, I’m looking forward to the next book from this author!

Thank you Diane/NeverlandBT.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#PublicationDay #Review – Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote (@lizzieheathcote) @QuercusBooks

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A heart-pounding psychological thriller for fans of Disclaimer and Apple Tree Yard.

My husband’s lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.

Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcee with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of ‘second wife’. She knows she’ll always live in the shadow of another woman – not Tom’s first wife Jenny, who is resolutely polite and determinedly home-counties, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night.

But Carmen can overlook her husband’s dead mistress . . . until she starts to suspect that he might have been the person who killed her.

What does TWG think?

As soon as I spotted the cover of Undertow, my curiosity level went through the roof. Whose death was an accident? Why is there hair on the cover? What on EARTH does ‘undertow’ mean?
Those were just some of the questions that were going through my mind, even before I had opened the book. Questions which could only get answered by paying close attention to the storyline and the information it held. But, as soon as the story began, I ended up with even more questions than I started with and I couldn’t wait to see how the storyline was going to unfold.

Carmen was a tough character to warm to, yet she exuded a lot of warmth to those around her. It just wasn’t a vibe that lingered with her once she was on her own, and of course I wondered why. Did she feel as though she had to prove herself when it came to ex-wife, Jenny, and dead ex-girlfriend, Zena?

The further I got into the book, the more unsettled I became. I knew something wasn’t right, yet I had no idea what. There were signs, little pieces of information which were a long way off from being complete. Red herrings perhaps? For me, yes. However, due to the additional vibes from Carmen as the book went on, my own reactions ended up mirroring hers. Her shock became my shock, her fear became my fear; hell yeah I was on edge but it wasn’t the uncomfortable or disturbing sort. It was the unsettled, nervous, spine tingling on edge feeling.

Pardon my bluntness but I absolutely despised Tom and everything he stood for. He was such an arrogant and nasty piece of work, yet he most certainly made his presence known in the storyline. Even though I wished he swapped places with Zena, if ‘Undertow’ didn’t have a character with such skin crawling tendencies, I honestly don’t think it would have had the intense storyline that ‘Undertow’ ended up with. He was a vital character in terms of personality, but my golly he disgusted me in more ways than one.

‘Undertow’ reminded me of a pot of water on the stove to boil. At first the storyline simmered gently, the odd situation causing a few bubbles. Then, as the storyline unfolded and cans of worms were opened, the amount of bubbles multiplied and the intensity of the storyline boiled and reached its peak. With a vengeance. It was then, when the book hit boiling point, the turn of events caught me completely off guard, with a pounding heart. Did I expect those events? No, I didn’t because the author wrote each and every uncomfortable situation, extremely cleverly. The author seemed to have an idea what the readers first instincts may have been and to me, it felt as though she had worked the storyline to make sure the readers expected the unexpected. No first instincts, just teasers and the need to use your own brain power to decipher exactly what those teasers meant.

‘Undertow’ is a cleverly written, head-funk of a book that is full to the brim of uncertainty, intensity and enough turbulence to rival dinner with an ex. Full of shocking and hair-raising moments, you may end up finishing this book wondering if you can even trust yourself…

Looking forward to read Elizabeth Heathcote’s next book, after this!
Thank you Quercus!

Buy ‘Undertow’ from Amazon UK
Buy ‘Undertow’ from Amazon US 

#BlogTour! #Review of BLINK by K.L.Slater (@KimLSlater) @Bookouture #blink #ohmy

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Today is the last day of K.L.Slater’s blog tour for, Blink, and I have the honour of being one of two blogs to help close the tour! If you have missed any of the tour stops so far, all the blogs that were involved are stated in the picture above! For my stop today, I have a review of ‘Blink’ where you will find out whether I BLINKed and I missed it, or whether I BLINKed just once due to being super engrossed. Enjoy!

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What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister.

What does TWG think?

OH.MY.GOD!!!! Have you ever been SO engrossed in a book that you end up reading it whilst you’re cooking the dinner, or sorting out the washing? Of course you have! Now, have you ever been unable to remove your hands from said book as you found it rather impossible to put down; toying with the possibility of getting a prison sentence if anyone DARED to disturb you reading THAT book, which in turn meant you just HAD to finish reading the book whilst you were eating your dinner? Let’s just say that there is a slight possibility that what I’ve just said, could have been my actions where Blink was concerned. Wait, scrap that. No COULD, no SLIGHT, it was me! Usually I would hang my head in shame/embarrassment, but not this time!

I had never read a book whilst eating my dinner before; until Blink came along. This is where reviews become truly difficult to write, when all you want to do is shout about the book and everything you loved about it, including all the ‘OMG WHAT ABOUT THE TIME….’ moments. But, I can’t do that today as it would be highly unfair seeing as you can buy ‘Blink’ for a mere 99p (here), and you can find out for yourself!

‘Blink’ is probably one of THE most intense novels I have ever read. From the get go there was a lot of uncertainty and nervousness where a few of the characters were concerned, with those situations playing out very slowly over the course of each chapter. It felt as though each character had something to hide as the vibes they were giving off, even from the beginning, were very sketchy.

Toni came across as such a defeatist in terms of actions and responses to other people’s opinions. It was a shame as I felt that she deserved a little bit of luck sent her way. As the storyline spread its wings, character personalities became a little bit clearer and I ended up being on high alert for little pieces of information which I thought sounded a bit suss.

We all do it with books like this; try to play detective and think that we can get one over on the book. I’m not going to lie, about 3/4’s of the way through I was just about to go ‘HAH I’VE GOT IT’ to my living, being a smidge over-confident, when I read a little bit more and ended up with egg on my face. Not literally obviously, but you know. I was WAYYYYY off the mark. At least I know not to apply to be a detective!

Seeing as I was a teeny bit aware of what the storyline is centred around (shock horror I read 1/3 of the blurb), I tried to ease myself into the storyline very gently just in case I couldn’t handle it. Yeahhhhh, I tried and failed after the first chapter. Once I had opened that baby on my kindle, there literally was no turning back. Stupidly I started reading it in the early hours of the morning and had to do preposterous things like try to sleep. I mean, WHO INVENTED SLEEP WHERE BOOKS ARE CONCERNED! The following day whenever I was cooking or faffing about my house, my kindle had to come with me so that I could read and end up NOT cooking or faffing about. I’m not even being over the top when I say all of that, as I was actually like that with this book!

‘Blink’ is an intense, hair-raising and gripping read which will have you falling off the edge of your seat in suspense. K.L.Slater’s writing is PHENOMENAL and she has laced every single word with copious amounts of grit and uncertainty, enough to warrant a rapid heartbeat and sweaty palms without being uncomfortable. I have never, ever, read a book before which has pulled me into its storyline by every hair on my body; until now. It gripped me, shocked me, made my heart pound, made my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth when it went dry and even caused my eyes to leak. For a book to do all of that, and more, it just goes to show what an absolute BELTER of a book it is, and how extraordinary the author is to be able to expose such intense reactions from just one reader.

A SUPERB, powerful and gut wrenching read that will have you on tender hooks the whole way through. ‘Blink’ is an outstanding and extraordinary read, full of everything you could ever want within a book. A must-read from TWG!

It is safe to say that ‘Blink’ has clawed its way into my top FIVE books of ALL TIME. Seriously, the author is a genius. Absolutely fantastic.

Thank you so much Bookouture.

GO & BUY ‘BLINK’ NOW!!

‘And now, the end is near..’ #SavingSophie #Blogtour @sam_carrington1 @avonbooksUK

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It is time, unfortunately, for the final curtain ladies and gents! I began to arrange this blog tour back in October, the first ever blog tour that I had organised, and it’s safe to say I was bricking it. I wanted it to be well received as both the author and book, are fabulous.

Kicking off the tour was a blogger a lot of you have come to know, and love; Jo Robertson from My Chestnut Reading Tree. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for all of the support during the tour and for kicking it off with a fantastic review.
In case you missed her review, you can read it HERE.

Day 2 of the tour saw two bloggers taking part:
Nerdish Mum who shared her review and a guest post which you can read HERE
AND
Lauren, who was popping her blog tour cherry with a review of the book. You can read it HERE.
HUGE thank you to both of the fabulous bloggers for supporting the tour and getting involved. Really means a lot.

Day 3 of the tour brought us to the PAPERBACK PUBLICATION DAY! Woot!! Two lovely bloggers took part on that day!
Linda from Linda’s Book Bag is sharing a guest post to make you think, as well as a review. You can read both HERE. Very special thanks to Linda for the constant retweeting throughout the day and all the shares. Phenomenal, thank you.
AND
The rather fabulous Emma, aka Damppebbles shared an extract and a review! You can read both HERE. I think she enjoyed the book, don’t you? ;). Thank you for being involved Emma, your enthusiasm for the tour was exceptional.

Onto day 4 and Susan Hampson (Books From Dusk till Dawn) shared her corker of a review which you can find HERE. Thank you so much for being involved in the tour Susan, and for your fabulous review!

On the fifth day of the blog tour, two bloggers gave to meeeee;

Swirl and Thread posted her review over on her blog, and it is incredible! You can read it HERE. The support that Mairead has given the blog tour and I, is amazing. Thank you so much for being involved!
AND
Emma Mitchell was talking about non-crime books with Sam Carrington, in the form of a guest post! Intrigued? You can read that HERE. Thank you for being involved in the tour and all of the sharing/tweets and general shouting, Emma!!

Day 6 saw another two bloggers supporting Sam Carrington and Saving Sophie! They were:

The rather lovely Victoria Goldman and her fabulous review (can be found HERE). Thank you for being involved in the tour Victoria!
AND
Rae Broughton was brave and brought up the ever so controversial topic of ‘book to film adaptations’ in the form of a guest post from the author herself! Take a nose HERE! Thank you Rae for being involved in the tour, and for being such a support! Means a lot.

Still with me? Good. That now brings us to today, the final day on the tour. Alongside my own stop on the tour, two other bloggers wanted to accompany me and give the tour a good send off. At the time of writing this, I didn’t have their post links on me, HOWEVER, you can hop on over to their twitter accounts for their posts.
BibliomaniacUK aka Katherine
Alison Drew
Thank you both for being extremely patient and being so eager to be on the tour, truly means a lot.

Thank you to all of the bloggers for taking part in the Saving Sophie Paperback Blog tour, your support and dedication to the tour and Sam has been incredible. Also, thank you to EVERYONE that has tweeted, shared blogger posts, liked the tour posts or supported the tour in any other way. Without those shares and constant retweeting, the blog tour wouldn’t have been as successful as it was.
Lastly, thank you to the author of Saving Sophie, Sam Carrington, for writing such an incredible book and for putting your trust in me to organise your blog tour!

Saving Sophie is out NOW in both e-book and paperback formats, both of which can be bought from Amazon UK. Or, if you’re ever in your local Asda, the paperback can be picked up there too. Perfect Christmas treat.

Thank you all again and please continue to shout about the book! Oh, go and buy it too obviously!!

#Review of The Gift by Louise Jensen (@Fab_fiction) @Bookouture #psychologicalthriller

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Blurb.

The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

What does TWG think?

Number 1 best selling author, Louise Jensen, is BACK! Earlier this year (July to be precise), Louise wowed readers and critics alike with her debut novel, The Sister, accumulating a whopping 702 5* reviews on Amazon UK (figure correct as of 14/12/16)! After the incredible success of ‘The Sister’, readers (including myself) were eagerly awaiting publication of her second novel, ‘The Gift’. Well ladies and gentleman, fear not as publication day is a mere TWO DAYS AWAY! Bookouture and Louise Jensen are all set to release our Christmas present this year on the 16th December, ‘The Gift’. Luckily for me, I was able to get my hands on this highly anticipated second novel before publication day, and wow what a book it is.
If you have ever had a book in your hand that you were rather eager to read, you will probably be able to resonate with what I am going to say next…
I cursed, well, as much as I could with a three year old. I’m just thankful she isn’t a mind-reader put it that way. I didn’t curse at the book. I cursed at the fact I had to be a grown up and do ADULT things, how unfair is that? I cursed at every day life being a pain in the, ahem, as all I wanted to do was READ THIS BLOOMIN BOOK!!!! Every spare moment I had (or had made spare on purpose), my nose was buried in Louise’s gripping and heart pounding words. I’m sure you have worked it out by now; yes, I was absolutely hooked…from the very first page too, no lie. Every word on the page was laced with hidden truths, secrets and copious amounts of fear. Never have I ever experience a storyline to pull me in, make me sweat and have me jumping around my house as though I was on a pogo stick, like ‘The Gift’.

Usually in my reviews I summarise the book in a very basic way; I’m not going to this time as you need to read it all yourself without anyone feeding you anything. Why? Well, why not? ‘The Gift’ has such a jam packed storyline with such prickly characters; it was exceptionally difficult to work out who was being genuine and who was not.  I read through the book feeling all smug with a ‘hah, I know what’s going to happen’ type attitude thinking that I KNEW. Put it this way, I didn’t know. Every single character took turns in wiping the smug look off my face, leaving me completely powerless to their actions, and the actions of the storyline. I surrendered to ‘The Gift’. I surrendered to Jenna’s beliefs. I surrendered to Louise Jensen’s trapping words. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t think about anything else except the storyline in front of me. Just, wow.

As well as the hair raising aspects of the novel, Louise Jensen has covered such an interesting subject within the storyline. that makes for excellent and mind-blowing reading. I had no idea that that particular topic even existed and I was absolutely fascinated by it. Top marks to Louise for incorporating that into the book as I am positive it’ll be a talking point fairly soon.

I am truly amazed at the work of art that is ‘The Gift’, as it is very cleverly written and completely exceeded my expectations; times ten. I could go on and on about how brilliant I think this book is, but there is only so many times that I can say ‘OMG I LOVE IT’, because I do. You just need to trust me on what I’ve said and go and pre-order it right now, you really do.

‘The Gift’ is literally a head-funk in a book, mixed with betrayal, skin prickling moments and enough intensity to leave you questioning everything; even your own name. It is definitely a book NOT to be missed.
Louise has outdone herself with this AMAZING book, it truly is outstanding on so many levels.
So outstanding in fact I would like to say that:

Louise Jensen’s ‘The Gift’ blew me away so much, it is officially…..

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Yep! ‘The Gift’ has jumped over A LOT of books and is sitting pretty at my most favourite psychological thriller of all time. Wow, just….wow.
(Louise, you can take the pic fyi).

Thank you Bookouture for giving me the opportunity.

‘The Gift’ by Louise Jensen will be released on the 16th December 2016. However, you can pre-order it right now from: Amazon UK

 

 

Blog Tour – Good Girl Bad Girl by @GirdharryAnn. #Review & #charactersynopsis.

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Blurb.

‘A stalker. A pact. And a deadly secret. How far must Kal go to face the truth and find her missing mother?

A new, dangerous, psychological suspense thriller

Kal is twenty-eight years old and she’s no fool, though sometimes she might pretend to be, because hiding her strengths is a great way to extract information.

An expert in psychology and skilled in reading other people and their behaviours, she first learnt her craft from her deceased father. He was a man with dark secrets.

When her journalist mother goes missing, Kal investigates. A shadow’s been stalking her family for three generations. Kal will uncover a child trafficking network and to find her mother, she must face her deepest suspicions and a dread she’s been avoiding all her life…’

What does TWG think?

Thank you to Kate at Authoright for giving me an advanced copy of the book in return for my honest thoughts.

What would YOU do if your mother went missing? People like us would freak and call the police straight away, yes? But what if you were an expert in psychology and knew how to scan a room for evidence, would the police be the first thing on your mind? According to Kal, no. Kal is a photojournalist who lives for her career. Add to her impressive CV the fact that she practices martial arts and being highly skilled in analysing people’s behaviours; I would say she isn’t a force to be reckoned with, wouldn’t you? After learning her mother has disappeared, Kal quickly learns that everything isn’t as it seems. Unfortunately, Kal has no idea what lies ahead during the search for her mother. All she knows is that someone is watching her…..but they aren’t just watching HER though are they? It’s a life or death situation for Kal, and she could end up with more blood on her hands than what she bargained for…

Whilst I seem to gravitate towards a good ol’ chick lit romantic comedy, I absolutely adore a deep and dark psychological thriller. Ann Girdharry was a brand new author for me, before I began reading, so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. The title of the book had me incredibly intrigued and seeing as I don’t often read the blurbs on the books that I read (this book no different), I was very excited to see what ‘Good Girl Bad Girl’ was all about.

Straight away readers are faced with darkness. The first hurdle becomes evident as Kal realises her mother has actually gone missing. Using her own psychological expertise, Kal digs deeper into her mother’s disappearance and the people who may be involved. For me, the first couple of chapters felt as though the story was tooing and froing and I felt a little confused as to where the storyline was heading.

However, my confusion soon departed as my teeth became stuck into the bombshells that were quickly dropping on Kal. Even I started to feel nervous about what lay ahead. Something definitely wasn’t right, I didn’t quite realise exactly how deep the troubles were. The topic of martial arts was very overwhelming. I really didn’t understand it as I have never practiced it myself, but it did take me a while to realise where martial arts and Kal’s situation linked. Highly impressive though!

It’s safe to say that the edge of my seat was the place I spent most of my time whilst reading this book. Every single page had me hooked and left me wanting more. That said, as the story progressed, I did find the subject at the time to be quite disturbing. Several times I did wonder whether I would be able to finish the book as several scenes were quite shocking and too close to home. But by golly can Ann Girdharry write! Despite my nauseating shock at what I was reading, Ann’s writing pinned the book to my hands. Curiosity got the better of me and I just HAD to find out what the outcome would be.

Ann Girdharry has written an unbelievably shocking and thrilling book which had me spellbound by the mysteries that every page contained. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, I was in too much shock yet I became incredibly angry at many of the characters. ‘Good Girl Bad Girl’ is definitely a book that I was glad to not read in front of my toddler as I swore, a lot, at the sheer evilness of multiple characters. How dare they!

I am truly glad that I kept reading and didn’t give up on the book because if I had, I would have missed out on Ann Girdharry spine tingling writing. Ann strikes me as the type of author that would be able to write Winnie the Pooh as an absolute anus, instead of the huggable bear that he is. A talent that I am looking forward to read again in further books. Disturbingly shocking yet unbelievably gripping. Good Girl Bad Girl will have you hooked like an invisible claw.

Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry is available to buy now in both paperback and e-book from Amazon UK//Amazon US.

Character Synopsis – Kal Medi.

Quick Fact File

Kal is twenty-eight years old, she’s the second generation of her family to be born in England, her grandparents came from India.

Background

Kal is the main character in the story. We learn that the influence of her father meant that, as a child, she felt like an outsider. She didn’t really have friends, except Marty. She’s independently minded, strong-willed, discerning. Underneath that, Kal has her weaknesses –the worst is her deep-seated self-doubt about her own values and about who she really is. Has she been brainwashed by her father? Is she bad inside like he was?

Her Temperament

In the story, Kal is a loner but I don’t see her as lonely. I think people around her feel a strong loyalty towards her and admire her. I think people see more in her that she sees in herself. She’s too busy struggling and fighting with her inner demons, and, of course, with the Syndicate, to notice. That’s why she’s always wanting to do things on her own. So I think she will have to learn to trust people more. In Good Girl Bad Girl, Kal finally decides to trust Detective Inspector Spinks but it takes her half the story to do this. Of course, Kal has always known she can rely on Marty and that’s why she turns to Marty for help near the beginning of the book. Other people, like Inspector Spinks and LeeMing, have to earn her trust. Don’t worry, I think that because people around her like her (more than she realises), they will forgive most of her difficult tendencies such as dismissing them or being off-hand.

A bit more detail

Kal’s grandmother, Nannie, was a great influence on her and Kal will protect Nannie at all costs. We see that Kal has mixed feelings about her mother, Alesha. There are some resentments left over from the past that mean Kal didn’t respond straightaway to Alesha’s request for help. That was a mistake. As the story progresses, we’ll see that Kal’s love for her mother goes deeper than the resentments, and, in a way, Kal will follow in her mother’s footsteps as she manoeuvres closer to the heart of the Syndicate.

I wrote Kal deliberately as a ‘new’ type of heroine – a younger woman, of Indian heritage, a London girl who loves the city. London and Kolkata play an important part in the book. I think we need more characters like Kal in fiction books. (That’s one of the reasons why I’ve given Kal her own series.) The other main characters in the story (Marty and LeeMing) were also written to break the mould and be a breath of fresh air.

Final Comments

The relationship between the characters is very important to me – the human mistakes and slip-ups, as well as the ties that bind them – of loyalty, affection, vulnerability. The links between the generations are also important and it is that inheritance which passes from Nannie to Alesha to Kal and from David Khan to Kal.

About the author – Ann Girdharry.

Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for- profit sector for many years for agencies working with: carers, vulnerable older people and those with dementia, survivors of abuse, and victims of racism and racial attacks. Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children. As well as her passion for writing, Ann enjoys gardening and is a member of her local rollerblading club. Ann has previously published a series of short stories called Tales of the Unexpected (2015-2016). Her debut novel, and the first in the Kal Medi series, Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry (published by CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing 23rd August 2016 RRP £8.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores.

Follow Ann on Twitter.
Ann’s Website.

 

Guess who’s back, back again…TWG is! Review of ‘Saving Sophie’ by Sam Carrington.

samc
Blurb.

A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next?
Your daughter is in danger. But can you trust her?
When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.
Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.
Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.
As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.

What does TWG think?

Do you remember, last Wednesday, TWG being involved in the cover reveal for ‘Saving Sophie’? Remember me saying that I absolutely could NOT wait to read it? Well, I wasn’t lying. In fact, ‘Saving Sophie’ hopped, skipped, jumped and flew over all of  the other books in my TBR pile. I started reading it last night, and finished it today (thank you to Sam for giving me the ARC).

So what DID I think of the book? One word. WOW. ‘Saving Sophie’ is in the genre of ‘psychological thriller’ which I am sure you guessed by the blurb! Oh my, it definitely fits within that genre no bother!
Sophie went for a night out with her group of friends just like any other seventeen year old I would imagine. A night of fun, laughs and being able to remember everything the next day, you know, good memories…right? WRONG. Sophie arrived home in no fit state accompanied by police officers. Now there is drunk, and then there’s Sophie. Her mum,  Karen, has had her own fair share of issues in the past which have left her with a severe bout of anxiety and then some. The only thing she can rely on to calm her down is her trusty paper bag.
Karen had a feeling, a bad feeling, that there was more to Sophie’s situation than was being let on by her or Sophie’s friends. But what was it? Why did Karen have a sinking feeling about that night Sophie went out? Why couldn’t Sophie remember anything about what happened? If she couldn’t remember anything then she shouldn’t be feeling guilty….or should she?

To be honest, I think Avon Books should package every paperback copy of ‘Saving Sophie’ with its own paper bag. By golly you would need it! Every time Karen went to use her paper bag to calm herself down and regulate her breathing because of her anxiety, in my head I was going ‘SHARE IT!!!!’. But she wouldn’t share her bag :(. I’m pretty sure I spent most of the book feeling as though my heart was pounding out of my chest. I don’t think I even remember breathing much to be honest. I must have done, obviously.

I was absolutely hooked on every single word that was written. The whole book was laced with spine tingling tension which made goose bumps put up tents on my arms. I had no idea what the outcome would be, despite the fact that there were  a lot of situations happening that made me think ‘could it be?’. Sam Carrington has written the book from three characters eyes as it were; Karen’s, Sophie’s and the police. I thought that was a very bold move as sometimes when books go between character views, the storyline can get a bit lost and confusing. Lost and confusing are not the words that I would use to describe what Sam did, no way. Sensationally gripping, are the words that I am going to use. Seeing certain events unfold from a different characters perspective gave the book even more depth and I was able to see the situation from another side. Every story has two sides to it.I took a bit of time gelling with Sophie’s character. I found her to be quite a cold person (at first). It worked though!

At about 80% of the way through (Kindle), it was as if I wasn’t reading. I was moving the pages along on my kindle like you do flicking through an Argos book as a child, at Christmas. Extremely fast. I was in shock, my heart was pounding, I HAD to find out what had happened that night. I couldn’t put the book down, I didn’t WANT to put the book down. I couldn’t believe what was unfolding in front of my very eyes, I was actually shaking as I continued reading. Many times I felt as though Sam had pulled me into the book herself and made me a spectator.

‘Saving Sophie’ is a book that will leave you having to physically compose yourself after reading it. I was exhausted because of the emotions that I had felt whilst reading the book, all down to Sam Carrington’s mind-blowing writing.If you want to read a book that will make you question every little thing, make your mouth incredibly dry after leaving it wide open whilst reading, then this is the book for you. If you want to read a book that makes you sit on the edge of your chair, with arms covered in goosebumps, then this book is for you.

Gripping and chilling from the onset;  ‘Saving Sophie’ will have you anxiously spellbound. An unbelievable debut from Sam Carrington. I most certainly will be sleeping with the light on tonight! Incredible read, here’s to book two (you’ve set the bar high for yourself now Sam!).

‘Saving Sophie’ by Sam Carrington, published by Avon, is released in E-book format on the 12th August 2016 and can be pre-ordered HERE.
The paperback copy is set for release in December 2016 and can be pre-ordered HERE.

***COVER REVEAL*** Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington.

SQUEALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! She has only gone and done it!! Sam Carrington releases her debut novel ‘Saving Sophie’ on the 12th August 2016! A lot of people in the book world are routing for Sam (Hiya Book Connectors!) as she has been waiting for this moment for a while. Today I have the honour of sharing with you Sam’s cover of her new novel and all the details you will need to buy your own copy. You will really want to buy it once you have read the blurb (speaking from experience!).

Are you all ready for this? Drum roll please……

samc

A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next?

Your daughter is in danger. But can you trust her?

When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.

Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.

Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.

As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington, published by Maze (Avon), is released on E-book 12th August 2016, and paperback 15th December 2016. You can pre-order your e-book copy now via Amazon UK.

To keep up to date with the latest book news from Sam Carrington herself, you can: Follow Sam on Twitter.

I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited to read this book! Good luck Sam (not that you’ll need it!)

#Blogtour – The Stepmother by Claire Seeber.

The Stepmother blog tour graphic.jpg

The Blurb.

The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…

Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships. No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.
And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.
Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending…doesn’t it?

A compelling, dark and twisty psychological thriller.’

TWG’s Thoughts.

I am extremely honoured to have been asked by Bookouture publicity manager, Kim Nash, to be part of Claire’s tour! Thank you Kim!

Seriously, WHY is this the first book of Claire’s that I have read? Why didn’t I come across her books sooner?!
We all wish for our own fairytale ending don’t we? We meet a person, fall in love, get a cosy little house together, have children and everything is hunky dory….yes? But imagine this scenario; boy meets girl, girl has child and boy has two children, girl has a past and so does the boy, both pasts are unknown to the other person before marriage. That scenario is grounds for a fairytale ending as well, isn’t it? I mean, joining two ready-made families together to create one big happy family is going to have the standard everyday struggles. Children bickering, ex-partner’s showing up all the time, a house with a history, random rooms….you know, those sorts of struggles….

Before you start reading this book, clear your diary, unplug your phone and ignore life demands. Why? Because you cannot, under any circumstance, be disturbed whilst reading it. I’m saying that from experience as when I was reading it, I nearly let my family walk around the house in the buff as I wanted to keep reading instead of doing the washing!
‘The Stepmother’ had all my vitals raised. My heart was pounding, my breathing was erratic and I was absolutely HOOKED on every single word that Claire had written. Every single page had me wanting more. Reading the book felt like opening Mary Poppin’s bag. Never ending and kept on giving. A treasure chest if you will.

Usually I find in some books that the main character has the most depth and the other characters are memorable but not as complex. With this book, it wasn’t the case at all. Not only does the Jeanie have a past, a very complex past, every main character does too. I thought it was incredibly clever to have such a dark and mysterious book containing many characters with such depth.  I am in awe of Claire for how she has managed to write all of that without any flaws. There were no gaps in the story at all. Many times I found myself thinking I knew where the story was heading and who did what, but every single time I was wrong! As I read more of the book, other circumstances became more apparent and to me, it seemed as though enough clues were there to back up that particular circumstance. Things aren’t always as they seem…

This book had me in a constant state of shock; gasping became my knee jerk reaction, as did covering my mouth. I have never read a book that made me feel as though I would be missing out on vital information if I stopped reading, until this one. Don’t get me wrong, I began questioning myself and feeling like I was the one causing the trouble for Jeannie, but that just goes to show how captivated by the storyline I was!
I cannot fault this book at all, well, apart from the obvious fact that it had to end (how rude!). When I finished reading ‘The Stepmother’, I was physically exhausted by the ride I had just been on with Jeannie and her family. But then, shortly after, I began to grieve for the book that I had just read! I would have carried on reading it if I had the chance.

The Stepmother by Claire Seeber is an absolute MUST READ. Such a gripping story that will leave you guessing the whole way through. A book that keeps on giving. Just when you think it can’t get any better than it already is, oh it definitely does! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book if you couldn’t tell that already. It is definitely my favourite book of 2016 SO FAR. Terrifyingly brilliant from start to finish.
I cannot wait to find out what Claire’s next book will be about!

Claire Seeber, you are a literary genius. I am in complete awe of your work as you have written a truly magnificent book. Thank you.

The Stepmother is available to buy right now from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

clairee

Claire Seeber’s TV career has seen her move from in front of the camera to behind it, and from MTV, to  chatshows, to documentaries. Her work has taken her all over the world, but home is in London with her partner and two children. Claire writes features for a range of broadsheets, last year began studying psychology, and has had four novels published by HarperCollins.

Claire’s Website
Follow Claire on Twitter
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