Monday 30 April 2018

REVIEW ~ Final Girls by Riley Sager

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horrific massacre. Quincy along with her five friends was savagely attacked ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as "Him". In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to, a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls which also contains the names Lisa and Sam.

Lisa lost nine of her friends to a college dropout's knife. Sam went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn. The three girls have all been attempting to put their nightmares behind them along with trying to forget one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Quincy is doing well, maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff. She has a popular baking blog, a stunningly beautiful apartment that anyone would die for and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago who she knows she can call on at the drop of a hat. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night. The past is in better off staying in the past, isn't it??

When Lisa, the first Final Girl  is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, Sam the second Final Girl appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really here and what exactly does she want? And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters and most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Well, I didn't like it, I absolutely LOVED it!!  I couldn't read this fast enough, full of action, creepiness and eeriness.  It is told in 2 time frames also, the present day and after Lisa is found dead, it flashes back to when the horrific massacre took place at Pine Cottage which is spread throughout the story. I wasn't sure who to trust and even at times I was questioning whether Quincy could be trusted or was it the drugs she was taking that was masking the truth.  It reminded me of the old classic slasher films, like Halloween, Scream, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to name a few so Riley Sager definitely did their research well and you can tell that they love those slasher films too and that's a compliment as I LOVE the old horror movies - you can't beat them.  To be honest, I couldn't believe that the author is actually a male, which may surprise you, I really thought it was a woman.


The Final Girls is available in all good bookshops, libraries and on Kindle where it is currently £2.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Saturday 28 April 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ Guilt by Amanda Robson

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Guilt by Amanda Robson where I welcome Amanda to my blog where he has kindly provided me with a guest post on "10 things you didn't know about Miranda and Zara". I was thrilled to be asked by Sabah Khan from Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this piece so without further ado, here it is:

Ten things you didn’t know about Miranda and Zara


1. Zara never thought she would end up with someone as attractive as Sebastian. Despite her own good looks, and the copious attention she has received since her mid-teens, she always figured she would end up with someone ordinary.

2. She is far more intellectual than her friends realise. She loves to read philosophy books and is considering studying a philosophy degree with the Open University when she has finished her photography course.

3. Whenever Zara is separated from her sister, or her mother, she texts them every day.

4.  She has been interested in photography since she was four years old, when her Mum first gave her a Kodak instamatic. She sees the world around her as a series of photographs. Sometimes her dreams come to her in snap-shots.

5. Zara is interested in reading about religion. Her favourite is Buddhism, although she hasn’t fully embraced it yet.

6. She only watches Strictly and X-factor to please the people around her.

7. She prefers alcohol to other recreational drugs. E is her second favourite.

8. When she and Sebastian are married she wants to travel to India for a prolonged honeymoon. She wants to see the Taj Mahal, the Temples of Varanasi, the marble fortress of Dehli, and to visit Goa and Kerala.

9. She prefers animals to children, and would rather have a puppy than a baby. Lhasa Apso are her favourite breed of dog. A non-sporting dog bred to guard Tibetan monasteries. They look a bit like Dougal from the Magic Roundabout, who looks super-cute in old clips on You Tube.

10. Zara is currently designing her own body art. Roses and dragons. It will cover her whole torso.


1. Miranda is more highly strung than people realise. She has been attempting to balance her brain biochemistry with St John’s Wort for many years.

2. As a child she often wanted to swop places with Zara, as less was expected of Zara academically.

3. Her nick name at school was Captain Sensible, which upset her very much. She has always wanted to be considered fun loving like her sister.

4. Having said that she hates night clubs. She doesn’t like being surrounded by people high on drugs. Loud music makes her ears pop.

5. Even though she  doesn’t have a garden at her flat, she loves reading books on gardening.

6. She wants to get married and have children. More than two.

7. At school she had a long term crush on her maths teacher. He is a big part of the reason she is an accountant now.

8. She had her first kiss at seventeen.

9. Favourite TV programmes: EastEnders, Holby City, Strictly and X-factor.

10. Favourite author: Sophie Kinsella.

Saturday 21 April 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ The Girl Who Got Revenge by Marnie Riches

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Girl Who Got Revenge by Marnie Riches where I welcome Marnie to my blog where she has kindly provided me with an extract from her latest novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Sabah Khan from Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this piece so without further ado, here it is:

Scanning the black fields, he realised he might be too late. As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he made out a path that led out among the maze of polytunnels, rippling in the wind. Tried to remember what it had all looked like during the daytime, but couldn’t. On his own in that desolate place, with the wind turbines whining in the background as they churned the night sky, he imagined Den Bosch’s men watching his every move; sentries waiting in the shadows, guns cocked. Was it possible George would send help? 
Forging his way through the first field, he soon spotted a white glowing light in the distance, off to his right. It shone from crystalline structures on the horizon. 
Sinking to the ground, unable to make out anything of note, he traced careful fingers over the makeshift path spread out before him. Felt parallel furrows in the flattened soil. ‘A trolley. They’ve taken her to the greenhouse on a trolley.’ 
He started to run, panting and tiring more quickly than he would have hoped. He had once chased like a prize greyhound after serial killers, thieves and drug dealers. But he was older now. Bearing the scars of his difficult forties, he was no longer quite as fit. If Tamara died tonight and he was unlucky enough to live, he didn’t mind if Minks kicked him off the force. It was time, he decided. There, in the middle of a field of cabbages, he realised he was finished. 
The gunshot ripped through the cold air, bursting his heavy, choking bubble of self-doubt and nihilism. The wind whipped around his head, awakening his senses. There had been a flash of light from the direction of the greenhouses as the bullet had been discharged. 
Crack. Another. This time, it hit. He was sent flying backwards, the breath knocked out of him as he hit the deck.

Friday 13 April 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ If You Go Down To The Woods by Seth C. Adams Q&A

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for If You Go Down To The Woods by Seth C. Adams where I welcome Seth to my blog where he has kindly provided me with a super Q&A session. I was thrilled to be asked by Kathryn Cheshire from HarperCollins to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this piece so without further ado, here it is:

What inspired you to write this book?
As a fan of genre coming-of-age stories—Stephen King's "The Body" (adapted into the film Stand By Me) and It, Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dan Simmons' Summer of Night, Robert McCammon's Boy's Life—I always wanted to try my hand with similar themes. The teenage years are that nebulous space between childhood and adulthood, and if written with honesty, the subject matter is universal and never gets old. Fear and wonder are emotions we all experience as children and adults, and mining these in the same story can produce compelling results for both reader and author.

What's your favourite and least favourite thing about writing?
The greatest aspect of writing is seeing what's in your head become a reality on paper. But this is also the greatest challenge, because you have to also become your greatest critic. Oftentimes, what is in your head doesn't always translate well onto paper. What makes sense to you in the privacy of your own thoughts may not make sense to a reader, and so if you want to grow as a writer, you have to be able to disassociate yourself from your story to some degree. You have to be able to read the story as a reader would, and be willing to re-write anything that might be problematic from a reader's perspective, in regards to plot, structure, and characterization.

What's one thing your readers don't know about you?
I grew up in the 80s along the California coast, when video arcades ruled the boardwalk, and Nintendo ruled the living room. I am an avid gamer, mostly on PC, and have to structure and limit my gaming time lest it take away from other, more important things—like writing!

Name your 5 favourite movies. 
This is a difficult task. I was a Barnes and Noble Music/DVD manager for several years, and watched far too many films both in my childhood and adult years to narrow down my top five, so I'll just name five that I re-watch and never get tired of: Halloween, The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, Planet of the Apes, and Ghostbusters. An eclectic mix, I know!

What is the best thing you have done in your life?
I'm not sure what qualifies as the "best thing", but the most rewarding times in my life are when I have dogs to share my time with. From both an anthropological/archaeological perspective and a personal perspective, that humans and canines have followed a co-evolutionary path for nearly 100,000 years (80,000 years ago at least for wild wolves and early man; 35,000-38,000 years ago for domesticated dogs) is something approaching a natural miracle. No other two species have developed anything even remotely like the bond between humans and dogs, and when you allow a dog in your life, with the awareness that he/she is a cognitive, emotional creature—and not just a pet—something happens to you on the inside. You gain a fuller appreciation for life, and become a more sympathetic, empathetic human being. With their relatively short life spans, you know you will almost certainly outlive a dog, and the loss of a furry friend hits hard and deep, but the years of companionship more than make up for it.

If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be?
Introspective, cautious, and observant.

What's your next project?
I have a hard drive and filing cabinet filled with completed manuscripts. There are two other crime novels that I have in mind for HarperCollins/Killer Reads, as well as a few suspense/horror novels ready to be delivered, and a volume's worth of short stories I'd like to see published someday. Along with these, I have a good three or four ideas in my head rearing to go, and just have to choose which one I'll pursue first.

Friday 6 April 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ The Death Chamber by Lesley Thomson

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Death Chamber by Lesley Thomson where I welcome Lesley to my blog where she has kindly provided me with a guest post on Lights, Camera, Action. I was thrilled to be asked by Clare & Blake from Head of Zeus to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this piece so without further ado, here it is:

Lights, Camera, Action….

One image of a writer is of a bundled figure in fingerless gloves scribbling in a garret, alone except for their characters. Certainly I’ve been there (with gloves and woolly hat), but I get out a bit too.

I love going to events and meeting readers. Most days I get a latte from our local patisserie as much for the chat with the owners as for the caffeine. I go on walks with friends (such as the wonderful Elly Griffiths) and by myself with my dog, Alfred.

Recently though, I was lured from my desk to ‘star’ in a film.

This was not a Clooney blockbuster or to star opposite Olivia Colman (my dream casting for Stella). It was to give booksellers abroad a sense of me. As I’m still trying to get a sense of myself I jumped at the chance.

We shot in Winchcombe, in the Cotswold village that’s the setting for my latest novel, The Death Chamber. It’s where I go to write alone (a woodstove means no gloves or hat). If you haven’t been there, you’re in for a treat. It’s peaceful and workaday with a butchers, a bakery and the best hardware shop I’ve ever seen.

Actor W.C. Fields hated working with children and animals. No kids in this film, but there is one wilful poodle. The first scene was of me at my desk with Alfred (Stanley in the series) perched on my lap. He put up with three takes (okay, so end of the fantasy of being a film star in the waiting– Cut! We’ll do that again) before leaping away and threatening to make off with a light reflector. In real life Alfred does sometimes land on my lap as I write. He snoozes, chin on keyboard – a cutesy look he refused to do on camera.

One shot had me ambling along a narrow lane of warm Cotswold stone cottages. I was to amble along this lane thinking writerly thoughts, my faithful canine companion beside me several times – the budget not stretching to bringing Winchcombe to a halt – because unwitting pedestrians kept appearing and spoiling the impression of the ambling author. In fact I was going to get an iced bun from the bakery (writers need treats).

The film’s centrepiece was the death chamber. This is an early Neolithic long barrow called Belas Knap where Victorian archaeologists found 31 bodies buried. In The Death Chamber police find another skeleton.

I morphed into Time Team and was filmed striding about the grassy mound (several times) extolling the countryside in silence. By this time my fab sister-in-law (and film star’s assistant) was minding Alfred. I paused to illustrate the silence. Suddenly, on the winter breeze, came the sound of a poodle weeping. Cut!

Amazingly, despite me and my dog, Rob, the filmmaker, made something good enough for general release…

I’m back at my desk writing while a recalcitrant poodle has his beady eye on my iced bun.