Monday 31 October 2016

No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

Thanks to Avon Books, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.....

You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby daughter, Joni are taking a walk on the beach and minding their own business, they are attacked by a crazed teenager, like any of us Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter.

But her life falls apart when the news starts to filter through that the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.

A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her friends, colleagues and family don't seem to want to know her as she's guilty in their eyes.  But when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago, her mental state is further threatened. Is Anna as innocent as she claims?? Is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life??

I didn't like this book, I absolutely LOVED it.  It was fantastic and was hooked from the first page.  I was suspicious of every character throughout the book and I thought I'd it worked out but I was completely wrong. It was full of twists and turns. I loved the sociopath/killer character was absolutely brilliant, very well written and cleverly constructed.  They were everything you'd expect with a sociopath - cold, calculating, manipulating and has no regard for anyone's feelings or who they hurt on their path of destruction. And THAT ending, well just say I wasn't expecting it and you won't either, you'll end up open mouthed in shock like me. This is the first book that I've read by Tracy and look forward to to seeing what's up next from  Tracy (no pressure). I'd HIGHLY recommend this book so what are you waiting for??

No Turning Back is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is currently £1.99 on Kindle at the time of publication of this review.

Friday 28 October 2016

BLOG TOUR ~ The Secret by Katerina Diamond

Hi Everyone,

Today, I'm the 9th blogger on the #AVerySecretBlogTour for The Secret by Katerina Diamond & I was thrilled to be asked by Helena Sheffield & Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers too.  You can find out who else has taken part in this fabulous Blog Tour below & keep your eyes peeled for the clues for the secret bloggers at 5pm daily. I loved my clue that was given yesterday, did anyone guess right!?? 

Thanks to Helena Sheffield from HarperCollins UK, Avon, I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.......

EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW IS A LIE…Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it.....

DS Imogen Grey & her partner DS Adrian Miles are back together to solve another case but this time it could get them killed. When Briget Reid who is an undercover cop goes in the seedy world of prostitution to try and uncover a sickening web of abuse, she goes missing and is presumed dead during this operation. Briget has a secret and one that could get her killed too but she needs to escape from the man that is being her locked in a basement bedroom.  As DS Grey & DS Miles race against time in the search for Briget, they uncover a terrifying web of abuse, betrayal & murder but what if they realise that some secrets are better left buried?? Or what if the only person that could help you was a convicted criminal, what would you do??

WOW!!! I thought The Teacher was brilliant, The Secret was even better, I was pulled in fron the first page & couldn't put it down once I got going, I LOVED it. As we discovered in the first book in the series, DS Grey has her own hidden past and her own demons and her own buried secrets to deal with which we do touch on a little in The Teacher but is dealt with a whole lot more in The Secret. Set in the present day & 2 years previous in Plymouth, we get more of a feel for DS Grey & her past & why she struggles to let anyone get close to her. I will admit that I found parts of the story hard to read and in places & it made my skin crawl but it definitely didn't disappoint. It was a spine-chilling , pulse pounding, heart thumping rollercoaster ride. I know that his book will stick in my memory longer than most because of the subject matter that was involved. And, after that bombshell ending I am really looking forward to Katerina's next book already where I'm hoping it won't be too long until the next DS Grey Novel is upon us, so no pressure Katerina but I'm dying to know what's in store next for the characters 😱😱

The Secret was published on October 20th on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is currently £1.99 on Kindle at the time of publication of this review, I'd HIGHLY recommend it, so what are you waiting for!??

Wednesday 26 October 2016

BLOG TOUR ~ The Day She Can't Forget by Meg Carter

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Day She Can't Forget by Meg Carter & I'd like to welcome Meg to my blog today where Meg has very kindly written a guest piece for me as part of the Blog Tour. I was thrilled to be asked by Darran Stobbart & Canelo Publishing to take part along with some other fab book bloggers too.  You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below & I am currently reading The Day She Can't Forget & will be posting my review soon so keep an eye on my blog. So without further ado, here it is:


Family lies, buried secrets and a search for the truth are a rich seam in popular fiction – and rightly so. For as in real life, irrespective of whether what’s hidden is small and trivial or a body under the patio, concealment can distort the present while revelation can cleanse.

Which is why for me, the relationship between past, present and future is a recurrent theme. 

In my new novel The Day She Can’t Forget, published by Canelo on October 24, the protagonist, Zeb, is haunted by events that took place in the months before she was bornfollowing the death of her father – a shocking and painful past she must understand and come to terms with before she can move on. 

Meanwhile in The Lies We Tell - my first novel, which was published last year – former school friends Kat and Jude must lay to rest events that led up to the last time they saw each other 20 years earlier when, on a school trip to a remote, heathland beauty spot, they girls accosted by a man who Jude pulled into the bushes leaving Kat to away. 

Never knowing her friend’s fate, Kat tries to bury the past but lives life under its shadow until, eventually, Jude gets back in contact.

If you don’t know where you are from, you don’t know where you are. And if you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you are going, to paraphrase novel and playwright Caryl Philips, in a recent radio interview. Much of his writing, which has explored themes surrounding the African slave trade, addresses a specific of how where we come from shapes our identity. Yet the idea of how our past shapes our present and, in turn, our future is both universal and every day.

In The Day She Can’t Forget another character, Alma, is bound by her past – in particular, one dreadful event she was directly involved in which she can never escape. Yet for she and Zeb, events in the present ultimately provide a deeper understanding and acceptance of past events that will, hopefully, result in a brighter future.

All of us have something in our past – a specific event, even – that, if we think about it carefully, helped shape for better, for worse just who are today. For one close friend, it is the knowledge her mother gave her up for adoption at the age of three: a critical event in her personal history she held off from examining more closely until the months leading up to her wedding. 

‘Standing on the verge of a new life, with someone else, the time seemed right to lay the past to rest,’ she said.

Hidden secrets and our decision about whether to unearth them (or, indeed, to bury them more deeply) is both a fact of life and a powerful way to create complex and compelling multi-dimensional characters, too.  And as a writer, I have to be honest, here: it’s fun to be a secret keeper.

 The Day She Can’t Forget by Meg Carter is out now from Canelo  & is currently priced £3.99 in eBook at the time of publication of this post.

 The Day She Can't Forget by Meg Carter Ebook

Sunday 9 October 2016

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields ~ COVER REVEAL

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.

In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.


BLOG TOUR ~ The Taken by Casey Kelleher

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Taken by Casey Kelleher & I'd like to welcome Casey to my blog today where I review The Taken as part of the Blog Tour. I am thrilled be taking part in this wonderful Blog Tour and delighted to welcome author Casey to my blog with a review of The Taken and a BIG thanks to Kim Nash from Bookouture for allowing me this opportunity to take part with some other fab book bloggers too. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below.

So without further ado, here it is................

With thanks to Bookouture, Kim Nash & Casey Kelleher I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.....

When you’ve lost everything, you’ll do anything to survive. 

When Saskia Frost’s dad dies her world is blown apart. Without any family, she’s on her own now and up to her eyeballs in her father’s debts. He owed a lot of money to some very dangerous men – Joshua and Vincent Harper.  She makes a deal with Joshua Harper and before long, aspiring ballerina Saskia finds herself lap-dancing in a London club to survive.  A club run by the infamous Harper brothers.  Saskia is now their property and they’re going to make her pay every penny of her father's debts back. 

Teenager Lena Cona has fled a cruel and controlling marriage in Albania. She arrives in England with her newborn daughter, desperately relying on strangers for help. But she soon learns that not everyone can be trusted as she finds herself caught in the clutches of Colin Jefferies, a twisted, evil individual obsessed by his own sinister secrets. As the sickening truth is revealed, Lena is forced to fight for her life - and her baby’s. 

When their worlds collide, Lena and Saskia form an unlikely friendship. But with the terrifying Harper brothers on their tail, as well as Lena’s vengeful and violent husband, can they escape with their lives? 

Well, what a book this was, I didn't just like it, I LOVED it and it definitely didn't disappoint. It had me gripped from the first few pages right through to the end, there were some great twists and turns and full of emotion in parts too. I even had to slow down reading it as I didn't want it to end. I know that his book will stick in my memory longer than most because of the subject matter. The story does cover alot of subjects and situations which we're all too familiar with on a daily basis, from human trafficking, drugs, alcohol, violence to rape, whether it's on the news or in the papers, this story was near enough to real life. I know that his book will stick in my memory longer than most because of the subject matter. It is a pretty gritty book and is no way sugar coated in any way with certain descriptions and there were parts I did squirm through due to the content so it's definitely not for the fainthearted but it is SO well written. I felt I was there with the characters at times and I wanted to kill one in particular and I'm sure a lot of readers will be the same. I first came across Casey last year when I read Bad Blood which is also brilliant so check that out too if you haven't already. I would definitely recommend this book too.  I am really looking forward to reading more books from Casey already (no pressure). 

The Taken is available on Kindle and is currently £1.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Monday 3 October 2016

BLOG TOUR ~ All Fall Down by Cat Hogan Q&A

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for All Fall Down by Cat Hogan & I'd like to welcome Cat to my blog today where Cat has very kindly taken part in a Q&A for me as part of the Blog Tour. I was thrilled to be asked by Cat to take part along with some other fab book bloggers too.  You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below & you can also read my review for They All Fall Down at the end.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I always knew I was meant to write but it took me until two years ago to sit down and think about it seriously. I did a creative writing course, just to see if I could get the nuts and bolts of constructing a novel. I wanted to learn about the more technical stuff- the tools of the trade. Plot development, characterisation and the likes. I already had a story in my head and the characters would not go away. I was working part time and raising two children and although the creative writing course gave me a good grounding, the epiphany didn’t come until that October. I was at a friend’s book launch. Billy Roche and Eoin Colfer were on the panel and it was their passion about storytelling and writing that caused the penny to drop. I quit my job a month later, got started on the book and finished it a few months later. The gamble paid off! 

Inspiration for stories in general for me generally comes from a snippet of conversation or more prominently, song lyrics. I’m a huge music fan and always have been. I’m juggling two book ideas in my head at the moment ( apart from the one the Publisher is waiting on) and they have both come from songs. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

Right at this moment, I am working on two. One is a follow up (of sorts) to They All Fall Down. I am wandering and hiding in the alleyways and the Souks of Marrakesh- up to all sorts of mischief. 

The other is another dark tale of mystery, madness and mayhem. We will just have to wait and see which one goes to print first!

It wasn’t by design I ended up writing dark fiction- I always thought I would be more light hearted. They All Fall Down got dark very quickly but I think I may have censored myself to a degree. I have unleashed the beast for the second and third book. Darker and more twisted but there’s a very slight chance there might be a bit of black comedy in there too- all will be revealed!

What books have most influenced your life? 

The Big Friendly Giant was my constant companion as a child and now as I read it regularly to my own boys, it never fails to transport me back to my childhood days. The BFG was responsible for my lifelong obsession with Roald Dahl- my first introduction to the author and to the wonderful work of Quentin Blake. This magical book has brought adventure to little boys and girls the world over. Sadly, the book was dedicated to his own little girl who died in the 60’s.

The Count of Monte Cristo- Alexander Dumas

This novel was possibly the first of the classics I read as a child/teenager. The story involves every element a good novel should have. Romance, hope, adventure, loyalty, betrayal, ugliness of human nature and justice- all revealed through characters and their true nature. A man is wrongfully imprisoned- he escapes, acquires a fortune and becomes hell bent on revenge- what’s not to love about that epic adventure. The language, the imagery and the overwhelming adventure makes it easy to see why this is an absolute classic and one I still have on my shelf. 

I could actually sit here all night and write about books that have shaped me and books I love. I am a complete book addict. I can’t stop buying them – paperbacks and books for Kindle. If I love a book on Kindle, I buy the physical copy to add to my collection. I love books. 

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and Asylum by Patrick McGrath are two I tend to re-read time and again. Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ is a masterpiece and I couldn’t live without Wally Lamb. Oh- Ken Follet deserves a mention too. I read for the love of a good story and great characters- that is my prime motivation. I’ve never read Ulysses but it makes no odds. I won’t pretend I’ve read it either ;) 

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life? 

Time and balancing family was a challenge. I usually write in the mornings when my oldest is at school and the baby is in playschool. For the afternoon, I get back to being a mammy and all that it entails and when I’ve tucked them in bed- I get back to it. 

As regards research- I love it. I’m a bit of a nerd in that respect. I love learning anyway, especially about the mind and the human condition. When researching They All Fall Down, I read a lot of psychology books- just to understand sociopathy, psychopathy, different condition and how we are conditioned to react to situations, dependant of course on so many factors. Jon Ronsson is a very entertaining writer but my favourite research book so far has been ‘The Sociopath Next Door’ by Martha Stout. It will make the hairs rise on the back of your neck! 

The biggest challenge came for me a few months back. For one of the books on the back burner, I contacted the Irish Prison Service in the hope of organising a visit to Wheatfield Prison for research. They were incredibly obliging and I got the pass to go up. On the day, I had an Officer assigned to me. His job was to bring me around the prison- twice. Once as a visitor, and then as an inmate. It was a really interesting day and such an eye opener. It’s not an exercise I would necessarily like to repeat but the interviews with both the staff and the inmates were astounding. I should really write a blog about it! Of course it gets back to the nature/nurture debate and the idea that in some cases, less than you might think, you are dealing with actual sociopaths- another story for another day.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

The hardest part for me is time management. It has been a real whirl wind since They All Fall Down was published. It takes a lot of time and energy to promote a book and because it’s such a busy and competitive industry, you have to maintain visibility- while writing another one and raising a family. By day, I also run my own business from home- writing content and marketing material for business start ups. That has been shelved for now as I have a deadline ( nearly passed). Writing can be a lonely profession and like any industry, it has its share of politics as well. 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

They are not new authors but I am captivated by both Donal Ryan and Liz Nugent. Liz is in a league of her own when it comes to writing dark fiction. Both of her novels are absolutely fantastic and no one comes close to her talent. She’s also a very lovely and down to earth person- that helps!

Donal Ryan is the master when it comes to weaving a story with beautiful prose. He captures the essence of rural life and characters we all know. Stunning writer… The Spinning Heart is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.