Sunday, 30 November 2014

Anyush by Martine Madden

It is 1915 and the magnificence of the Ottoman Empire is fading. The country has barely recovered from the disastrous Balkan war when it is plunged into the Great War on the side of the Germans. In a small village in Trebizond state, the Armenian community is removed from world events. A young Armenian village girl, Anyush Charcoudian, has been educated by an American missionary doctor, Charles Stewart and his wife, and works as an assistant nurse at the mission hospital. Through the Stewarts’ influence she begins to understand there is a wider world beyond Trebizond. Her life changes when a company of soldiers come to the area. The handsome Turkish Captain Jahan Orfalea falls in love with Anyush, and they begin a secret affair, crossing religious and cultural divides.

As the war moves on, events in Constantinople take a brutal turn. On April 24th all educated Armenian males in the city are shot. The subsequent deportation of Armenians from towns and villages across the Ottoman Empire extends its reach to the small Trebizond village. Charles Stewart’s friend and old Empire hand, Dr Paul Trowbridge, tries to alert Charles to the growing atrocities, but the doctor dismisses his concerns as warmongering gossip.

Charles Stewart realises when it's too late what has been happening. He tries to intervene on the villagers’ behalf, and risks everything he has worked for in the last fifteen years. But events are moving beyond his control. The evacuation of the Armenians from Trebizond has started.

I don't want to really give too much of this story away but this is a beautiful and heart breaking story told with great passion & feeling, based on factual events during the First World War and the terrible events that affect the Armenian people.  Martine Madden has written a tense but beautiful and gripping story, which has been well-researched and developed, as the author lived in UAE and returned to Ireland in 1990.  If you've read Khaled Houssini's A Thousand Splendid Suns or The Kite Runner then this book is definitely for you, I'd highly recommend it.  I found I had tears in my eyes at the end along with shedding a few along the way, so grab this book, curl up on the couch and prepare to have a few lump in your throat moments too.  I know that this book would stay with me long after I'd turned the last page, you have to read it to appreciate this beautiful story.

This book is available on Kindle & from all good bookstores.

Monday, 17 November 2014

A Meditation On Murder by Robert Thorogood

Thank you to Harlequin (UK) Ltd via Margaret Madden for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story opens on one of the most unspoilt Islands of the Caribbean, Saint-Marie where we meet Aslan Kennedy who is a yoga instructor and self styled Spiritual Guru and owns his own hotel "The Retreat" along with his wife Rianka.  One particular morning, he gets up and goes down to make green tea to bring to the Meditation Space, which he does as normal on a daily basis.  He sees the five guests that are staying in the hotel on the beach and calls out to them to get their attention. It was an hour and a half later that the screaming started and he's been murdered.

We are then introduced to the detectives that are assigned  on the case, Detective Inspector Richard Poole and Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey.  It seems to be an open and shut case as there were five other people who were inside a locked room where Aslan was killed and one of them has already confessed to the murder but are they the murderer?  DI Poole is even convinced that the person whom has confessed to the murder is the one person who couldn't have done it.  Are they covering for someone else?  Is there more to this murder than meets the eye?  As the Detectives delve deeper into the victim and all the suspects pasts and history the truth starts to emerge and  a web of lies seem to be untangled.  DI Poole is adamant that no stone will be left unturned to track down the real killer.

I really enjoyed this book, however I felt that the story did dip a little bit in the middle but once it picked up the pace again I couldn't put it down.  I loved the descriptions of the sandy beaches and the surrounding scenery on the island and I wished that I was there with the heat on my face and looking out and walking on the white sandy beaches instead of looking out at the gloomy weather we've been having here in Ireland.  I thought I'd a fair idea of who the killer was but didn't work out who it was until the very end but I had suspected about 3 characters throughout the story.  It is the first book I've read by the author Robert Thorogood & I would definitely read more of his work and I only realised that this book is based on the Death in Paradise TV Series.  If you're looking for a good classic crime or murder/mystery then I would recommend that you curl up on the couch and sink into this clever whodunit story.

Although this hasn't been published yet, to be honest I didn't particularly like the cover at all, it's not a cover that's entriguing or would make me want to pick it up and read it, only for I know who the author is and what he's done, i.e. been the creator of the hit BBC1 TV series Death in Paradise, I'd walk past it in a bookshop and it would be a case of judging a book by it's cover on this occasion.

Thank you to Harlequin (UK) Ltd via Margaret Madden for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book. This book will available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and will be published on the 2nd January 2015.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book starts off on a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, where it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media, as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife?

I had heard so much about this book months ago and how good it was I couldn't wait to get it and start reading it but I really struggled to like this book. I'd read almost 200 pages and put it down as it was really beginning to annoy me and found it quite boring, I decided to pick it up again as the film had just been released and I was determined to finish it but I'm sorry that I bothered and just didn't go and see the film. I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't, I didn't like any of the characters in the book and I didn't even like the ending of it, I thought it was SO unrealistic but other people may have a totally different opinion to me on this book but if you're looking for a dark, twisted thriller then this book is for you.  Also, on the cover of the book it states "There are two sides to every story..." but in fact there's actually always three sides to every story, his side, her side and the truth.  This is the first book I've read by Gillian Flynn and I would probably give her other novels Sharp Objects and Dark Places a go and really hope that they are MUCH better than Gone Girl.

This book is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Falling: Angels Among Us The Complete Series by Linn B Halton

I received an ARC edition from the author in exchange for my honest review as part of Linn B Halton's Falling: Angels Among Us The Complete Series Blog Tour which I am taking part in on Wednesday 5th November 2014.

The story opens with Ceri who is a manager in an advertising company is convinced that she sees angels everywhere and also gets premonitions of things that she has see happen before the event and tries to stop it by trying to prevent what she's already visioned.  She works with Alex for the past 2 years,who is gorgeous but keeps their friendship strictly business but deep down she does have feelings for him but does he feel the same way?  After a tragedy strikes, one night they are chatting, too much wine is consumed, they start exchanging their secrets and they end up in bed together and their relationship changes.  Alex explains that the reason he doesn't date is because someone broke his heart, yet Ceri admits that she has a deep connection with him?  Ceri and Alex fall deep in love but they soon learn that their love is forbidden and that they must find a way to live apart.  Can they or will they?  Alex is supposed to cross paths with her and help Ceri during a phase where she begins to question the signs she’s being given. It’s meant to be a turning point for them both—but in opposite directions. They are destined to travel very different paths but Ceri doesn’t know that and neither does Alex.

All three books are in a complete collection so there's no waiting to find out what happens next and you can read all of Ceri and Alex’s story in one read. Linn B. Halton writes a rollercoaster of emotions in these 3 novels plus an extra 4th installment. They are full of romance, drama and just add that touch of a psychic mix to make the characters have extra depth and edge.

This is the first novel that I've read by Linn B Halton and it was good, I did like the whole concept when I read the blurb as it reminded me of Quantum Leap where the character Sam Beckett had to go back and re-write peoples history to change their course of life and destiny and prevent what was going to happen to them and unlike the character of Sam Beckett, Ceri becomes frustrated with not being able to change the course of her own life.  I would class this as a paranormal romance, it wasn't really for me, however I'm sure other people will think different to me but if you're looking for a good romance with drama, emotion with a bit of spiritualism thrown into the mix then this book is for you.

This is available in Kindle since 9th October 2014 and 17th December 2014 in paperback, by Harper Impulse, it’s available to pre-order on Amazon now.

Once again I am thrilled to be a part of a Book Blog Tour.  Thank you once again to JB from Brook Cottage Books for letting me take part once again and I look forward to many more promotions, reviews and cover reveals in the near future.


Linn B Halton lives in the small village of Lydbrook, Gloucestershire in the UK, but was born in Bristol. She resides there with her husband and cat with 'catitude'- Mr Tiggs.
Linn began writing in March 2009 and her debut novel was published in February 2011. In a recent interview Linn was asked about genres:

"From a very young age I knew romantic fiction was always going to be my genre. I am, and will always be, madly in love with love! Whether that's love of life, a partner, or the things I'm passionate about.

My stories are about love, life and real relationships - but romance is always the one thing that holds each story together. Often there's a light, psychic touch and I never dreamed I would write drawing upon my personal psychic experiences. But as my interest and understanding has grown in the subject, it is now such a part of my life it finds its way into my fictional tales. However, what is heartening is that most of my experiences have been uplifting and it's wonderful to know loved ones are around me always. I hope it will make readers stop and wonder 'What if?'
The result is that I get a lot of mail from readers who have had similar experiences and some are sharing theirs for the first time with me. I always feel that's something rather special and for which I'm very grateful."
Love, life and beyond... but it's ALWAYS about the romance!

Linn is published by HarperImpulse and Sapphire Star Publishing.
Linn is the editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine.