#RisqueReads | #ReleaseBlitz | #BookReview | UNDEFEATED by Stuart Reardon @stureardon & Jane Harvery-Berrick @jharveyberrick (January 23rd 2018, Indie Published @ArdentPRose)

UNDEFEATED by Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick
23rd January 2018, Stuart Reardon Publishing

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When your world crashes down…
When they all say you’re out…
When your body is broken…
I will rise.
I will return.
And I will be undefeated.

Nick Renshaw is the golden boy of British rugby. When a serious injury threatens his career, he starts to spiral downwards, a broken man.

Feeling abandoned and betrayed by those closest to him, he fights to restart his life. Maybe there’s someone out there who can help him. Maybe he can find his way back toward the light. Maybe … not.

Dr. Anna Scott might be the one person who can help Nick, but she has her own secrets. And when Nick’s past comes back to haunt them both, the enigmatic doctor is more vulnerable than she seems.

Broken and betrayed, the struggle to survive seems intolerable. Who will give in, and who will rise, undefeated?

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Until recently – I had never picked up a sports romance novel. I knew they existed, but I was yet to delve into the sub-genre. Thankfully RARE has given me the kick up the arse I needed to get out and explore new authors and their stories!

I was instantly drawn to UNDEFEATED mainly by the cover (that’s right! I’m a big perve!) and then to the title and the authors. A romance novel co-written by a man?! This made the list of ‘reasons why I need to learn more about this book’! But listening to both Stuart and Jane talk about the book and the journey they took in writing it had me sold. I HAD to read this book!!

Straight away what I enjoyed the most about this book is that it wasn’t written as non stop romance with a bit of sport thrown in. It was a story about Nick’s sporting journey, which just happened to have a romantic element attached. I felt more of a connection with Nick and Anna because of this and I became fully invested in the story, the characters and the world they were living in. With all that said though, the romance between the pair is raw and passionate! Who needs a post-match sauna when these two are in the same room?!

After listening to some of Stuart’s Q&A sessions, I can appreciate this story a lot more knowing that Stuart has used some of his own personal experiences within his career to influence parts of the story. A very courageous move as some of the story is hard to read. Nick really does go through the mill and is very lucky to have it on the other side without the relationship he forms with Anna. UNDEFEATED is a credit to both Stuart and Jane on and I am 100% keen beans for MODEL BOYFRIEND when it’s released in June!

A HUGE thank you to Ardent Prose, Stuart and Jane for gifting me an early copy of UNDEFEATED in exchange for an honest review! I’m now counting down the days for MODEL BOYFRIEND!

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

STUART REARDON

Stuart is a retired England International Rugby League player who’s career spanned 16 years as a professional playing for several top League clubs. He has had several major injuries that nearly ended his career just as in Undefeated, the amazing collaboration with Jane.

Currently he is a Personal trainer living in Cheshire, and has an online fitness program: Fear Nothing Fitness.

Web  Twitter  Facebook   Instagram  YouTube  Tumblr

JANE HARVEY-BERRICK

 I enjoy watching surfers at my local beach, and weaving stories of romance in the modern world, with all its trials and tribulations.

It’s been the best fun working with Stu on this story. And yes, he did think about joining the Marines once.

Web Facebook  Twitter  Amazon Page Goodreads Instagram

You can buy UNDEFEATED from the following booksellers (and many more!);

iBooks | Amazon | Nook | Kobo

-S.
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#BlogTour| #BookReview | [CARGO] by J.C. Macek III (January 21st 2018, Bloodhound Books @Bloodhoundbook)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the paperback edition release of [CARGO] by J.C. Macek III.

I would like to say that I am blown away to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Sarah Hardy, Bloodhound Books and of course J.C. Macek III who gifted me an early copy of [CARGO] . I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

Over the years Anthony Peterson has amassed a fortune, numerous properties, a trophy wife and a reputation for ruthless business dealings. He is a man who is used to getting his own way.
But when Peterson wakes to find himself locked in a metal shipping container, with only a cell phone and twenty-four hours of air left, he begins to unravel.
Desperate to escape Peterson soon learns that there is more to the container than he first realised. And when the kidnappers call and demand ten million dollars, while threatening to murder and rape his beautiful wife if he doesn’t comply, Peterson must fight to meet their impossible terms or face being left to die alone in the darkness.
Why has Peterson been targeted?
Who are those responsible for his kidnap?
And will Peterson make out of the container alive?
Cargo is an edge of your seat thriller about the choices we make.
So, you want to know what I think?

I knew straight from the blurb that this would be one of those books that would keep me on the edge of my seat throughout and it did not disappoint!

CARGO was dark, disturbing, claustrophobic, frightening, thrilling and left me more questions than it did answers! This is a sign of great story telling when a book leaves the reader frustrated (happy frustration) and wanting more.

Once again I found myself asking what I would do if I was in Anthony’s position? If the threat of rape and murder of this wife wasn’t enough for him to deal with – at the height of his confinement, he is asked to perform tasks that wouldn’t go a miss from one of the SAW films! It makes for uncomfortable reading and will make you squirm in your seat and is unquestionably not for the faint hearted. This is a credit to Macek’s writing.

CARGO left me needing more of this story! I NEED to know what happens next to Anthony. So many questions that I want to ask, but I won’t here as it will give away some major spoilers!! But those who have read this book will know what I am talking about!

Recently learning that CARGO has been developed into a movie – I am keen to see Macek’s words come to life and see how Anthony’s story translates to the big screen.

 

About J.C. Macek III;

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He began writing at a very young age and launched his professional writing career after graduating from Louisiana State University with a BA in English Literature.

His first noteworthy professional writing was in the world of entertainment journalism. He became a movie, TV, book and music reviewer which soon expanded to film history columns and celebrity interviews. Over the years, J.C. has become known in his professional life for interviewing bands such as The Cult, Judas Priest, Faith No More, The Zombies, Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry,  Queens of the Stone Age’s Nick Oliveri and KMFDM.

After writing literally thousands of articles, columns, reviews and interviews for multiple print and online magazines, J.C. published his first novel Seven Days to Die: A Jake Slater Mystery in 2016. He followed this success in 2017 with a collection of short stories and novellas entitled The Pretty Good and Pretty Representative Stories of J.C. Maçek III. This collection continues the hardboiled detective saga of Jake Slater with the new novella The Pestilence of Spring: A Jake Slater Mystery.

J.C. is also an actor, musician, director and film producer. His most recent film is [Cargo], produced by J.C. and written and directed by James Dylan. As producer, J.C. also took the commission to write the novelization to [Cargo] which will be published by Bloodhound Books in early 2018.

J.C. lives in Southern California with his wife, daughters and a veritable zoo full of pets. He is currently working on more Jake Slater crime novels starting with the thriller Hard Core and is looking to expand the mythos of [Cargo].

Author Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloodhound Books

 

You can buy [CARGO] from the following booksellers (but obvs you can get it at other awesome booksellers too!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Waterstones

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

BLOG TOUR (3)

#RisqueReads | #BlogTour | #BookReview | CRUISE (Savage Disciples MC #6) by Drew Elyse @DrewElyseAuthor (11th January 2018, Indie Published @ArdentPRose)

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Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of the latest novel in the Savage Disciples series; CRUISE by Drew Elyse.

Huge thanks to Ardent Prose and the wonderful Drew Elyse who gifted me an early copy of CRUISE. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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Once a Disciple, forever a Disciple.

After giving up eighteen months of his life for his club,
the Disciples’ president is finally tasting freedom again.
Stone knows there’s only one thing that might ever be as sweet,
but she’s too young, too perfect, too untouchable for a man like him.

A Disciple will fight like a savage to protect what matters.

Evie’s life is pretty much blowing up in her face
until Stone finds her broken down on the side of the road.
Now if only she could get him to stop being the martyr
and give them a shot at what she knows they both want.

It’s high time this biker got the chance to let go and just cruise.

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Extract from CRUISE;

Evie

“Still in school, then?”
I bit down on the inside of my cheek at his question. Perhaps I had underestimated how hard it would be to share a house with Stone. Tracking the sound of his steps as he approached, I gave myself a mental pep talk.
You can handle this. You’ve faced far worse than an unrequited crush. Time to toughen up.
“Just one last round of finals,” I replied.
Stone knew all about my plans. I’d still been working on my associate’s when we met, but I knew then what I would do when I finished. He’d listened to the whole plan, and he’d been the first person not to question if it was the right one.
“You know what you want, you know how to get it, and you’re making it happen. That’s fucking great, Evie.”
“Does that mean you have graduation coming up?”
It was a logical question, but it felt foreign to me. The surprise of it made me look up at him.
“No. This part is all online. There’s a graduation I could attend if I really wanted to in Seattle, but I already stated I wouldn’t be walking,” I explained.
He’d meant to make small talk, but that was out the window. His attention was fixed on me, his brow furrowed. “Why would you do that?”
“Why travel all the way to Seattle for it?” I countered. “It would be one thing if I was going with a bunch of family to watch, but I’d drive all that way just to walk across that stage alone.”
“You can’t say you’re going now?”
“I don’t know. Probably not. It’s too close now.”
“Find out,” he ordered.
What?
When I didn’t hop to doing that, he repeated, “Go on wherever you have to and find out if you can still walk.”
His tone brokered no argument. This was the president of a motorcycle club, the man who had to be firm enough to lead a group of men most people would never question. Yet, I couldn’t help but do just that.
“Why?”
“You worked your ass off for this, you deserve to be there.”
“Stone…”
“And if you don’t want to go alone, then I’ll take you.”
Where his command had failed, that managed to silence me because it was too much. It didn’t say helping someone you knew out when they hit hard times. He was talking about traveling hours away to celebrate a pivotal moment in my life, the kind of event that family went to, the kind of event you attended for someone that you loved.
My mind a mess of words I wanted to say, my gaze fixed on the books spread out in front of me. Soundlessly, I closed them and stacked them up. Only once that was done, only when I’d had a minute to get some semblance of order to my mind, did I look back to Stone, who’d watched every movement.
“Thank you,” I started, and saw that catch him off guard. “You’ve done a lot for me, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay you. But you don’t have to do this. I don’t want you to. The ceremony isn’t important to me, but if it was, I wouldn’t want to be there with someone who just went because they felt bad that I’d be there alone.”
Stone was going to butt in, I could see it. Since it had worked earlier with Avery, I sallied forth before he could.
“You’re really sweet, and I appreciate it that you want me to have that, but we both know how I feel about you. I’m sorry that I’m making this complicated, but those feelings are still there for me even though I know they aren’t for you. So you being at something like that for me, it would only make this more difficult.”
Knowing I couldn’t withstand much more, I went to grab my things and get out of there.
I didn’t get the chance.
Before I could so much as turn away from him, Stone had my wrist in an iron grip.
“You seriously fucking think I don’t feel that shit?”
His face looked like it was made from pure fire, and it silenced any words I might have drawn up.
“You think I sat on that stool every fucking day you were there to stand there smiling across from me just for the food? Because I’ll tell you right now, I didn’t even fucking taste that shit. I was there for something I needed a fuck of a lot more than food. I was there to see that cute smile on your perfect fucking face.”
I wasn’t smiling then. Even though his words were exactly what I wanted to hear, the harsh way he said them scared me.
“I told you that day you offered me that invitation to get everything I’d been wanting for months, and I told you again last night, I’m trying to do what’s best for you. Now, I’ll give it to you even more straight. You’re twenty-seven. I’m forty-four. You’re beautiful and smart, you’re sweeter than any woman I’ve ever fucking met. I’m the president of a fucking MC. I’m a fucking convict. And you know I didn’t earn that time, but I’ve done plenty of shit that could have gotten me the same rap sheet. I’m too fucking old and too dirty to even think about having you, but I do. I thought about it for eighteen fucking months sitting in that cell, and probably the only thing that kept me sane was picturing your face. But you’ve got your whole fucking life ahead of you, and I’m not going to stain that.”
He stepped closer to me, one hand coming up to run callus-roughened fingers down my cheek.
“I’m not for you, even if it fucking kills me to admit it. But one day when you find the man that is, you’ll be glad I did. And I’ll still probably be wishing that man was me.”
Before I could begin to process all he’d said, before I could say even one word to stop him, he turned away and left.

Want to know what I thought?

First thing to mention when people look at this review and get freaked out by seeing it’s the sixth book in the series is…DON’T! You can definitely read this book as a standalone novel and not feel like you are missing too much of the background on each of the characters.

How refreshing to read a romance story where there is some kind of age gap (Stone being 44 and Evie, 27) as most contemporary romance features characters around the same age or younger. What this book does highlight is that it doesn’t matter if you are 27, 44 or 104 – love is love and can consume a whole person…and a door…and a bed… 😉

CRUISE gives me all of my Sons of Anarchy feels and then some and sits within a sub-genre of romance that I’m not too familiar with, but am becoming more and more involved with learning more. With the MC romance I have read so far, there is always that true sense of family within the clubs, a strong bond between people from all walks of life.

The story moves along at an easy pace and steers clear from over the top action for the sake of filling pages. The relationship between Stone and Evie for me, moves at the right pace and isn’t rushed. It feels natural. The conflict towards the end of the book…I could have easily read more, which is only a credit to Drew. You know you are doing something right when a reader is literally itching to know more details!

The only small disappoinment is knowing that this is the last book in the series 😦 but also keen beans to learn that Drew is writing a spin off series! Until then…. it looks like I have five more books in this series to devour! 🙂

 

About the Author;

Drew Elyse spends her days trying to convince the world that she is, in fact, a Disney Princess, and her nights writing tear-jerking and smutty romance novels. Her debut novel, Dissonance, released in August of 2014.

When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found over-analyzing every line of a book, binge watching a series on Netflix, doing strange vocal warm ups before singing a variety of music styles, or screaming at the TV during a Chicago Blackhawks game.

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a BA in English, she still lives in Chicago, IL where she was born and raised with her boyfriend and her prima donna pet rabbit, Lola.

Author Links
Twitter  Facebook  Web  Goodreads  Amazon

You can buy CRUISE (Savage Disciples MC #6) from the following booksellers (and many more!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.
Be sure to follow all the blog tour action across Twitter and Facebook!
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#BlogTour| #BookReview | THE INNOCENT WIFE by Amy Lloyd @AmyLloydWrites (December 28th 2017, Cornerstone @PenguinRHUK)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of THE INNOCENT WIFE by Amy Lloyd.

I would like to say that I am blown away to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Anne Cater, Clare Kelly, Cornerstone (Penguin Random House) and of course the Amy Lloyd who gifted me an early copy of THE INNOCENT WIFE. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

A young schoolteacher falls for a man on Death Row whom she believes is falsely accused, only to begin wondering after their marriage – and his release.

Twenty years ago Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a Making a Murderer-style true crime documentary that’s taking the world by storm – the filmmakers are whipping up a frenzy of coverage to uncover the truth and free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

Samantha may be thousands of miles away in Britain, but she is as invested in Dennis’s case as any of his lawyers. Perhaps even more so, as her letters to the convicted killer grow ever more intimate. Soon she is leaving her life behind to marry Danson and campaign, as his wife, for his release.

But when the campaign is successful, and Dennis is freed, events begin to suggest that he may not be so innocent after all. How many girls went missing in Red River, and what does Dennis really know?

So, want to know what I thought?

Every now and then, a book comes along that completely consumes your every thought. You cannot put it down until you have devoured every single page. Then once you have finished, you have to sit and stare and think about what you have just read. THE INNOCENT WIFE is one of those books!

From the very start, I was hooked. It took me back to the same feels I had listening to Serial and watching Making of a Murderer. Those feelings of doubt and suspicion against every character – I don’t think I trusted a single one. There was something slightly off about everyone. Don’t think I’m saying this as a negative though – quite the opposite! I LOVED it.

I could feel the awkwardness between Sam and Dennis in their visits and the underlying tension between the pair once Dennis is freed from prison. I find myself trying to think why Sam would sacrifice her life in the UK to move to another country to be with a man she has never met. Who, although she believes his innocence – is still in prison charged with committing horrific crimes.

The dynamic between Sam and Dennis, once released, shifts considerably and reading it made me uncomfortable. Dennis’ mood swings and his relationship with Lauren has the reader jumping to conclusions before we even reach the end of the book. Which is more than a credit to Amy’s writing (I still can’t get over that this is a DEBUT novel!)

The end of the story couldn’t be more perfect as it left me asking more questions as to what happened next? Why did it happen that way? Open endings like this can be both a frustration and a pleasure. A frustration stemming from not getting the closure some readers crave from a story, but then a pleasure that we are almsot left to create the story ourselves in our head and create new situations and choices.

Safe to say that THE INNOCENT WIFE is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time!

About AMY LLOYD;

Amy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Her writing combines her fascination with true crime and her passion for fiction. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her novel The Innocent Wife. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.

You can buy THE INNOCENT WIFE from the following booksellers (however, there are MANY more!!)

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Book Depository

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

Blog Tour (1)

 

 

 

 

#BlogTour| #BookReview | THE MISSING GIRL by Jenny Quintana @jennyquintana95 (January 11th 2018, Mantle Books @MantleBooks @ed_pr)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for THE MISSING GIRL – the chilling debut novel from Jenny Quintana

I would like to say that I am blown away to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Annabelle at Ed PR, Mantle Books and of course Jenny Quintana who gifted me an early copy of THE MISSING GIRL I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad.

Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?

So, want to know what I thought?

Having come straight from the highs of THE CHILD by Fiona Barton, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump straight back into a mystery surrounding a ‘missing’ person – but within the first few chapters, this feeling disappeared and I started to get into Anna & Gabriella’s story.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed THE MISSING GIRL. The mix of past and present story telling gives the reader the full picture and understanding as to why Anna has the relationship with her family as she does. We are taken to the 1908’s when Anna is a child and view her interactions with her sister and parents. Most readers will be able to relate with the family dynamic and will empathise with Anna.

This is one of those books where there are many twists and turns, and as you think you have figured out what happened….we are thrown off course and sent in another direction. One of things I love about reading is thinking I have the story all figured out – it’s then like Jenny laughed at me and told me not to be so silly! As if it was going to be that easy!

Based on THIE MISSING GIRL, I for one am looking forward to reading more of Jenny’s work in the future!

About JENNY QUINTANA;

Jenny Quintana, author.

Jenny Quintana grew up in Essex and Berkshire, before studying English Literature in London. She has taught in London, Seville and Athens and has also written books for teaching English as a foreign language. She is a graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative writing course. She now lives with her family in Berkshire. The Missing Girl is her first novel.

You can buy THE MISSING GIRL from the Mantle Books at mantle.panmacmillan.com and at all good book retailers!

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

The Missing Girl Blog Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BlogTour| #BookReview | DIVINE POISON by A.B. Morgan @AliMorgan2304 (January 4th 2018, Bloodhound Books @Bloodhoundbook)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the paperback edition release of DIVINE POISON by A.B. Morgan.

I would like to say that I am blown away to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Sarah Hardy, Bloodhound Books and of course the A.B. Morgan who gifted me an early copy of DIVINE POISON. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

Are you looking for a stunning new crime mystery full of suspense? Then you’ll love AB Morgan’s unmissable Divine Poison.

For a community psychiatric nurse, Monica Morris has an unhealthy interest in poison, and when, on impulse, she buys an antique Ship’s Doctor’s Cabinet with a set of leather-bound journals she becomes fascinated by the content.

A few days later, she discovers the body of her patient, Jan Collins, and although police assume suicide by overdose, Monica is not convinced.

When more unexplained deaths involving poisoning occur, Monica realises they are linked and so does DS Adams who is investigating. But how are they connected? And why?

When it becomes obvious that she’s unwittingly stepped into a trap set for someone else, Monica’s career, her own sanity and her life are placed at risk. But where can she turn to for help?

AB Morgan is the author of the acclaimed psychological thriller A Justifiable Madness. Divine Poison will appeal to fans of authors like LJ Ross, Joy Ellis, Faith Martin and Ed James

So, you want to know what I think?

The first thing that stood out for me with DIVINE POISON is a killing method I haven’t read much of…and that is poisoning. I’m sure there are plenty of crime novels out there that use poisoning as a method of killing/murder, but this is only the second book I have read which features this (the first being THE MAN WHO DIED)

DIVINE POISON does touch on some pretty senstive topics – especially in regards to the Catholic church which can make some uncomfortable reading. However this does contribute largely to the story and hasn’t been added for the sake of trying to shock the readers. It does the opposite.

What gave me the jeebies the most with this book is putting myself into the victims shoes. Poisoning can be a quiet crime in the regard that you never really know that it is happening. A poison can easily be dropped into food, a drink or even through water. This to me is what gave DIVINE POISON that edge.

If you are looking for a book with more twists and turns than a helter skelter than DIVINE POISON is definitely the book for you! Just when you think you have got it all sussed as to who is involved – Morgan is able to steer the reader in a completely different direction. This is evident in the ending where it is finally revealed who has been responsible for the deathe! DIVINE POISON is thrilling to read and a book to keep you on your toes!

About A.B. Morgan;

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Alison Morgan started writing a couple of years ago to address that niggling question: could she write a book? The answer was a simple yes. She’s had to retire from the NHS a little earlier than planned, but has discovered a new passion. Writing. Her debut novel, A Justifiable Madness, was published by Bloodhound Books in September 2017 attracting great reviews for its refreshing premise and dark humour. With two further novels being published at the beginning of 2018, it seems Alison has a promising future as an author. Divine Poison is the second novel to feature Monica Morris, a mental health nurse, as the main protagonist in this crime mystery, but there are no plans for a series. Alison’s third suspense novel, The Camera Lies, steps away from the field of nursing and into the world of real crime documentary films.

Alison lives with her husband Andy and their dog Sadie, in a small village north of Bedford. She’s not the type to let life get in the way of adventure and so, always up for the next challenge, she decided to have a proper midlife crisis and learn to ride a motorbike. In August she passed, first time. Her husband was impressed until she swung her leg over his prized Triumph and roared off with a big grin on her face. ‘Research for the next book,’ she cried. The fourth book is under construction and does indeed feature motorbikes.

 

You can buy DIVINE POISON from the following booksellers (but obvs you can get it at other awesome booksellers too!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

BLOG TOUR (2)

 

 

#BlogTour| #BookReview | THE CHILD (Paperback Edition) by Fiona Barton @figbarton (December 14th 2017, Transworld Books @TransworldBooks)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the paperback edition release of THE CHILD by Fiona Barton.

I would like to say that I am blown away to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Anne Cater, Transworld Books and of course the lovely Fiona Barton who gifted me an early copy of THE CHILD. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

 

So, you want to know what I think?

I have heard nothing but wonderful things both about Fiona Barton and also THE CHILD when it was released in hardback earlier this year. I jumped at the chance to read this book with the worry of suffering with FOMO!

The first thing I thought when reading this book was “Yup. I’ve got this all figured out. I know exactly what’s going on, etc, etc” which for those who read a lot of crime fiction, we always think we have it figured out. But in the case, I was so very wrong!

Like many great crime novels I’ve enjoyed, this is a fast paced and quick read. But quick and fast don’t necessarily mean terrible. Quite the contrary. Short chapters keep the story moving at a fast enough pace that it doesn’t becoming boring, but it gives the reader enough to keep an interest.

THE CHILD is not a fast paced action book with fist fights and car chases at every turn. If that is the type of book you enjoy to read, then I wouldn’t pick this book up. However, if what gets your juices flowing is a deeply emotional, character driven story – then this is the book for you.

What I have discovered is that Fiona has a skill at being able to give little pockets of detail, whilst keeping the reader guessing at to what is coming next. When the climax of this books occurs, I was left with a feeling of surprise. The twist in this book makes perfect sense to the plot and with realism that you don’t always get in some crime fiction. You can tell that Fiona has done her research!

THE CHILD has now set the bar pretty high and I am certainly looking forward to reading more of Fiona’s work!

About Fiona Barton;

fiona

My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist – senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.

But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.

The worm of my first book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.

It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.

Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow was published in 36 countries and made the Sunday Times and New York Times Best Seller lists.

It gave me the confidence to write a second book ,The Child, in which I return to another story that had intrigued me as a journalist. It begins with the discovery of a newborn’s skeleton on a building site. It only makes a paragraph in an evening newspaper but for three women it’s impossible to ignore.

You can buy THE CHILD from Transworld Books now or from the following booksellers (but obvs you can get it at other awesome booksellers too!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

The Child PB blog tour poster 1

The Child PB blog tour poster 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BlogTour | #BlogBlitz | #BookReview | FINDING MYSELF (The Chaos Series #3) by Victoria J. Brown @CarmenRadtke1 (December 7th 2017, Bombshell Books @bombshellpub)

Welcome!! This is our stop on this Blog Blitz Tour for FINDING MYSELF by Victoria J. Brown!

I would firstly like to say a rather big thank you to the amazing Sarah Hardy, Bombshell Books and Victoria J. Brown. who gifted me an early copy of FINDING MYSELF. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

Finding Myself final

To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

An emotional and uplifting book which will have you gripped!

Kat’s life has become a blur of dirty nappies and sleepless nights. She has moved into the flat above the salon she owns, alone and without Max the father of her children.

To make matters worse, Max has revealed he plans to remarry. Constantly on edge, her babies are taking up all of her time and Max is never around to help.

Diagnosed with post-natal depression, Kat feels more alone than ever.

Will Kat be able to manage alone? Can she find hope and rebuild her life?

Finding Myself is a novel about searching for the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, you want to know what I think?

I would highly recommend that you read books 1 (HOLDING MYSELF) and 2 (LOSING MYSELF) before reading FINDING MYSELF. I feel you really need to know the back story of the characters to be able to interact with this story.

This thing that I like most about the chaos series of books is the subject matter. Each one deals with depression in a unique and honest way, and the different types of depression and causes that may bring depression on.

Although the first 2 books had the love story of Kat and Max (well not so much LOVE story in book 2!) the 3rd book is all about Kat’s life with the babies and without Max. I like how Victoria explains the way a new mother may be dealing with life with these 2 new additions and how crazy it can be. As a mother I really related to the stress of the sleepless nights and the longings for the life you once had even as your love couldn’t get any stronger. I also appreciated the signs of post natal depression even though Kat didn’t want to admit it to herself I think Victoria writes about it in such a way that it may make people realise that depression is nothing to be ashamed of.

I make this book sound really serious but it’s not at all. It has lots of light humour included that doesn’t take away from the seriousness but does make it an easy read. I found it a quick read as once I started reading I would struggle to stop.

It was good to be back in Kat’s world and with the characters we have gotten to know over the series. I don’t want to say love as we don’t even like some of them, and I wish I could say those feelings change in this book but if anything our dislike grows but without them Kat wouldn’t get the ending she deserves.

Oh the ending…Spoiler alert…I love how Kat gets her happy ending but also how Victoria manages to leave it up for interpretation at the same time. Does Kat manage to get her business up and running again? Do Max and Gina manage to make the relationship work? Do Kat and Joe hit it off and get their happy ever after? Well I like to think so…..

About VICTORIA J. BROWN;
photo for bombshell

Victoria J.Brown has always had a passion for writing. When asked at the age of 9 years old, what she wanted to be when she grew up, her reply ‘an author’ was met with a disheartened response, ‘that jobs like that, don’t happen to people like us!’

Luckily, Victoria didn’t listen to this advice and never gave up on her passion.  She continued to write while perusing a career in Marketing after gaining a BA (Hons) in Business and Marketing.

In 2006 her eldest daughter was born and then two years later her 2nd daughter came along. Victoria realised in the midst of the mummy madness, that she’d let her writing dwindle and that nappy-changing, sleepless nights and not being able to go to the toilet in peace could not stop her fulfilling her writing dreams. So when her girls were 3 years old and 18 months old, she decided that sleep was over-rated and enrolled at Teesside University. A year later she proudly left with a MA in Creative Writing, some wonderful friendships and a passion for therapeutic writing. While studying for her MA she was also delighted to win a short-story competition judged by Adele Parks, to which she received publication and mentoring from Adele.

After her MA, Victoria concentrated on writing women’s fiction. She loves writing stories that women can relate to. The Chaos Series grew from her own experience of pregnancy, motherhood and life.

Victoria is also passionate about mental health and likes to write of such issues in her stories. Her dedication to mental health and living life to the full has led her down a spiritual path. Through her learning of spirituality she qualified as a Law of Attraction and NLP Practitioner, which she integrates into her writing. Her inspirational blog includes an A-Z motivational journey with weekly therapeutic creative writing exercises. She has developed this further and will soon launch her inspirational shop. The shop has been created to pass on positivity and love to others … you never know when someone may need to see those messages.

Being accepted by Bombshell Books is a dream come true for Victoria, she hopes that her mantra for giving love always and never giving up will inspire others to follow their dreams and passion.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Victoria, her inspirational blog and shop you can visit www.victoria-brown.com, plus you can follow her on:

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST

FINDING MYSELF is out now and can be purchased at the following outlets;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones |

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Be sure to check out the other blogs who participated in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

BLOG BLITZ (2)

#BlogTour| #BookReview | YOU’RE NEXT by Michael Fowler @MichaelFowler1 (November 9th 2017, Caffeine Nights @caffeinenights)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for YOU’RE NEXT – the second novel featuring DS Scarlett Macy from Michael Fowler.

I would like to say that I am blown away to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Caroline Vincent, Caffeine Nights and of course Michael Fowler who gifted me an early copy of YOU’RE NEXT. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

You're Next - Michael Fowler - Book Cover

To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

It is the opening day of Detective Sergeant Scarlett Macey’s biggest case of her life – ‘The Lycra Rapist’ is standing trial for a series of brutal rapes.

But things don’t go according to plan – the trial collapses – and James Green is freed.
Scarlett is determined his freedom will not last long and immediately begins planning his downfall.

Meanwhile James Green has his own plans for revenge, and driven by feelings of hatred begins to pick out those who brought about his downfall – priming them for the kill.

Scarlett has faced many villains in the past, but never one quite as terrifying as James Green…

So, want to know what I thought?

ARGH! Another book I have read which is part of a series and not the first one! This gives me the grumps something rotten as I’m always concerned that I am missing out on vital character development from a previous book/s.

Thankfully YOU’RE NEXT is one of those stories that you can enjoy as a standalone and not need too much information from the previous books. But I feel to understand the antagonist – reading the first book will certainly help.

With that said, I found myelf drawn to the story and the characters from the first few pages. You are instantly hit with the tension of the court case of ‘The Lycra Rapist’ and how circumstances lead to the collapse of the trial. There really is no time to sit and get a breather in this book as the action. The chapters are short and choppy, this helps the story to flow and makes for a quick, but enjoyable read.

We get a good insight into Scarlett’s personal life which is nice to read – it helped me connect to her on a personal level. But what I personally like is that I don’t feel like there was too much given away – there is more to Scarlett than I think we get in YOU’RE NEXT and I cannot wait to see how her character develops over time.

This story was left on a sublt cliffhanger, which will help to pave the way for the next story. I am keen to read where Michael will take the characters.

 

About MICHAEL FOWLER;

Michael Fowler Author Image

Following retirement, after thirty-two years as a police officer, working mainly as a detective, Michael returned to the deadly business of murder, as a writer. His past work brought him very close to some nasty characters, including psychopaths, and gruesome cases, and he draws on that experience to craft his novels: There is nothing gentle about Michael’s stories.

His landmark novel Heart of the Demon, published in 2012, introduced Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr. Michael has since written five novels and a novella featuring Kerr. He also released the first DS Scarlett Macey book in 2016. Michael is also the author of a stand-alone crime novella and a true crime thriller.

Michael has another side to his life – a passion for art, and has found considerable success as an artist, receiving numerous artistic accolades. Currently, his oil paintings can be found in the galleries of Spencer Coleman Fine Arts.

He is a member of the Crime Writers Association and International Thriller Writers.

You can buy YOU’RE NEXT from the following booksellers;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

You're Next - Michael Fowler - Blog Tour Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BlogTour | #BlogBlitz | #BookReview | A MATTER OF LOVE AND DEATH by Caron Albright @CarmenRadtke1 (November 29th 2017, Bombshell Books @bombshellpub)

Welcome!! This is our stop on this Blog Blitz Tour for A MATTER OF LOVE AND DEATH by Caron Albright

I would firstly like to say a rather big thank you to the amazing Sarah Hardy, Bombshell Books and Caron Albright who gifted me an early copy of A MATTER OF LOVE AND DEATH. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

Caron Albright - A Matter of Love and Death_cover_1

To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances’ life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it’s thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.
If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears – it was a very bad line, after all…
She decides to put it behind her, a task helped by the arrival of their new lodger, Phil. Phil takes her to a night club, where she meets charming but slightly dangerous club owner Jack. Jack’s no angel – prohibition is in force, and what’s a nightclub without champagne? But he’s a good man, and when Frances’ earlier fears resurface she knows that he’s the person to confide in.
Frances and Jack’s hunt for the truth puts them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things are a matter of love and death…
So, you want to know what I think?
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. The blurb makes it sound like a historical murder investigation but I don’t feel this is correct. To me it is more of a love story with a suspected murder thrown in, almost as if the author couldn’t decide. I definitely feel a lot more could have been done with the murder part of the story. It felt more like it was a side part of the story and not the main story like the blurb paints it to be.

That being said there are lots of things I did like about this story. The characters were all very likeable although our main girl, Frances, does come across as naïve, it didn’t make me like her any less. There are characters who could have had a lot more involvement in the story and parts of the story could have been elaborated on. It was a good way to introduce our main characters to each other.

It was interesting to read about 1930s Australia and to hear about how people really struggled, but there was a huge community feel. We see both Frances’s best friend and her mum both get into financial strife due to trying to help out family and neighbours. I really liked how Frances was quite selfless, she was constantly working to make sure her mum and uncle had a nice home to live in. She gives up her spare time to help out cleaning the house and cooking so her mum gets a break. The way everyone worked together and helped each other really struck a chord with me.

The book was very easy to read, I managed to get through it in just 3 days. I lost myself within the pages and it got me engrossed each time I picked it up. I think fans of the Bronze Horseman would enjoy this book. It also reminded me a little of Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for an easy read that isn’t the normal romance boy meets girl kind of story.

About CARON ALBRIGHT;

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Caron Albright fell in love with books as soon as she could read and never grew out of it. With one foot firmly planted in Fictionland ever since, she is moving from one adventure to the next (strictly on the paper of course).
She loves capers with feisty heroines, dashing heroes with a dangerous edge and thrilling locations and would gladly explore the world for the sake of research – preferably while tap-dancing, with a champagne glass in her hand.
Instead she spends her time in front of her keyboard, sipping herbal tea.
When she feels the need for a change, she switches to coffee and writing crime novels under the name Carmen Radtke.

You can buy A MATTER OF LOVE AND DEATH from the following booksellers;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

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Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

@bombshellpub@CarmenRadtke1