Thursday 31 May 2018

REVIEW ~ The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

With huge thanks to Penguin Random House and C.J. Tudor, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.......

It's 1986 and Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code, these little chalk stick figures they leave for each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be the same.

Thirty years later, Eddie is a fully grown man and  thinks he's put his past behind him. But then one day he gets a letter in the mail which contains a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out his other friends got the same messages, they think it could be a prank until one of them turns up dead. That's when Eddie realises that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

I didn't like this, I LOVED The Chalk Man.  It was cleverly constructed, I was completely gripped from the start especially that prologue, I was left open mouthed to be honest (haha)! It was sharp, witty and it was expertly alternated between flashbacks and the present day and that talk about pulse pounding.  As I was reading it, it brought me back to the late 80's like in the book and reminded me of hanging around with my friends and what we used to get up to as kids, going off on the bikes for what we hoped was going to be an adventure.  They were the best days of my life as a kid.  It also reminded me of a bit of The Goonies and Stand By Me thrown into the mix with how those kids used to go off for what they hoped was going to be an adventure, yet they'd get into trouble instead.  I don't want to say anything else apart from that as I don't want to ruin anything for anyone but go and pick up a copy, you won't regret it.


The Chalk Man is available in all good bookshops, libraries and on Kindle where it is currently £4.99 at the time of publication if this review.

Monday 28 May 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ TH1RT3EN by Steve Cavanagh ~ REVIEW

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh where I have a review of his latest novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers 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 review so without further ado, here it is:

With huge thanks to Lauren Woosey, Orion Publishing and Steve Cavanagh, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review...............

What if the killer isn't on trial? What if the killer is on the jury???

Robert Solomon and his wife were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now, one of them has been found dead along with a member of their Security staff, Hollywood movie star Robert is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team, none other than con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert's guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie's mind.  What if there's more than one actor in the courtroom??

Well, I didn't like this.............I absolutely LOVED it.  It was fantastic, full of action right from the first page, I raced through this book. The only time the story slowed down a little was the court room scenes but not by much though and these were excellently written too, you felt you where right there with the characters throughout the book, especially the killer. I'd have to say it's one of the best legal thrillers I've read in quite a while. I loved Eddie Flynn, he was such a bad ass character. I would even go as far to say that I'd love to see this been made into a TV series and I think that Damien Lewis (AKA Nicholas Brody from Homeland and Billions) would be excellent as Eddie Flynn, he was stuck in my head throughout reading the previous books in the series. The previous books are The Defense, The Plea, The Liar and now Thirteen.

You may have seen a tag line of #thatbookthathook hashtag going around on Twitter these past few months so believe the hype and reviews you see about Thirteen.

Steve is definitely becoming one of my favourite thriller authors out there. An excellent cast of characters and full of gripping thrills, spills, twists and turns, I can't recommend this book and series enough so go and pick up a copy, you definitely won't be disappointed.

Thirteen is available from all good bookshops, libraries and on Kindle where it is currently £6.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Blog Tour ~ My Husband's Lies by Caroline England

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for My Husband's Lies by Caroline England where I welcome Caroline to my blog where he has kindly provided me with a guest post on "Writing Characters". 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:

It may come as a surprise to those who've read my dark twisty short stories or my debut novel, Beneath the Skin (published last October), but I’m a little in love with most of my characters, even those who lie, deceive and betray! It isn’t just because I’m their creator, a mum who can see no bad in her kids. It’s because they are human, and all us humans are imperfect, aren’t we?

My Husband’s Lies is a 'domestic noir' story, a tender and compelling tale of friendship, gay and straight love. But also one of conflict and secrets, unfaithfulness and lies!

Known as the ‘A Team’ at school, Nick, Dan, Will and Jen have been inseparable for years, but when they gather for Nick’s wedding, their ordinary lives are thrown into chaos by a friend appearing on the hotel reception window ledge, ready to jump. As the unstoppable chain of events ensues, lies, family secrets, illicit love and betrayal are unravelled, pushing their relationships with their loved ones to the limit. What will the eventual fallout be? With their tight friendship survive?

Jen is happily married to Ian and they have three girls, but their lives unbalance when their middle daughter falls ill.

Nick and Lisa are newly-weds but a chance remark to Nick at the wedding starts an obsession to uncover a family secret, putting his marriage at risk.

Dan’s baby with Geri is due. On the surface he’s reliable ‘Super Dan’ but underneath his anxiety is spreading and his judgement is being clouded by a renewed and confusing childhood attraction. He finds himself in free-fall. Can he really cope?

Gregarious Will has only been married to Penny for a year, but what is his jokey and relaxed facade hiding? Why is Penny pushing him to take a job abroad?

Though I have a vague idea about the seminal plot points before starting my novels, the stories are not only character-based, they are often led by the characters too. Take Jen, for example. Once she’d taken shape physically, I slipped into her home scruffs, took a bite of those buttery crumpets she loves and let her take me on a stroll around her mind. I discovered her worries and fears and the things that made her angry. I also unearthed the secrets she was hiding.

All my characters are flawed in some way, but I hope they are compelling and realistic. I love creating my cast, giving them parents or children, jobs, homes and hobbies. Deciding on age, height and hair colour. Dressing them, giving them personalities, tics and frailties. Making them fall in love with people that they shouldn’t! But what I like best is giving them a history, a past, and particularly a childhood. Admittedly I’m a bit obsessed with the human condition, but I like to explore how the child moulds the adult we become. And of course I give each person a secret which is threatening to explode!

Saturday 12 May 2018

REVIEW ~ Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Joan and her son Lincoln are on a trip to the zoo and it is coming near closing time, they decide to make their way back to the exit, this ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare. As they are walking back Joan hears what she first thinks is either firecrackers or fireworks, it turns out to be gunfire and Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. Lincoln is a good little boy, he's four, is very curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are until today. There are 2 people on the loose within the Zoo with guns.

'The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.'

She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct. It's a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing but sometimes the rules are different.

To be honest I didn't know what this book was about when I picked it up from the library which I think sometimes is better as when a book is hyped up to the max and then you get to read it, it can be a bit of a letdown but WOW!! What a book, it was just brilliant. It was clever, tense, thrilling with a terrifying scenario which let's face it could actually happen.  I don't have children but I've a nephew and I actually felt claustrophobic at times reading it and just imagining the fear and trying to think ahead of a strategy to outrun these gunmen and get to safety.  I could feel my heart beating out of me at times and loved Lincoln, very much reminded me of my nephew in ways with his curiousness of everything, clever and his love for action figures.  It's ironic that I'm posting this review only a few days after another shooting in a High School in Florida and when you read this you realise that a shooting can actually happen anywhere these days, even a Zoo is not safe.  I'm not going to say anymore about Fierce Kingdom other than just pick it up and read it.


Fierce Kingdom is available from all good bookstores, libraries and on Kindle where it is currently £0.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

BLOG TOUR - The Lies We Told by Camilla Way ~ REVIEW

With huge thanks to Heidi from Harper Collins and Camilla Way, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review............

Do you promise not to tell???

Clara and Luke have been together a while and completely in love.  Luke has been preparing an upcoming interview but when Clara wakes early on this particular morning to discover that Luke hasn't come home, she reaches to check her phone but there's no missed calls or text messages.  After trying to ring him, she discovers that Luke's phone is in the house, she checks her emails to see an email from Luke to say that he was going to be working late but will be home but he's not arrived home and no-one has seen him so in effect Luke has gone missing.

Seeing as everyone thinks that Luke has left her, Clara knows differently and desperately searches for the truth, she uncovers evidence that Luke had a stalker but as she digs deeper and finds people from his past and what they have to say doesn't paint a very nice picture of him and she's worried that he's been kidnapped.

Then Luke's older sister, Emma, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears. Emma wants to help Clara with her search for Luke but she refuses to talk about what happened all those years ago even though it almost destroyed her family when she vanished. As Clara digs deeper into Luke's mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that these two incidents are connected or is there something more sinister going on?

WOW!!! What a novel The Lies We Told was, I Loved, Loved, LOVED this, it was absolutely fantastic and talk about messing with your head, just when you think you've things worked out Camilla throws another red herring into the story, just like a real psychological novel should be. It made my skin crawl and it definitely didn't disappoint. It was a spine-chilling , pulse pounding, heart thumping rollercoaster ride. The Lies We Told is told in two timeframes, present 2017 and from 1989 into the 1990's and there is a back story running through it which cleverly comes together towards the end.

The sociopath/kidnapper 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. At times, I could feel I was right there with the characters.

 I am really looking forward to Camilla's next book already where I'm hoping it won't be too long until then but no pressure at all.  After enjoying this so much I'm looking forward to reading Watching Edie now.


The Lies We Told is published on May 3rd and is available in all good bookshops, libraries and on Kindle where it is currently £3.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Friday 4 May 2018

REVIEW ~ Lies by T.M. Logan


Joe Lynch has just collected his little boy, William  from school and they're on their way home when his son spots his Mum's car  but Joe thinks that his son maybe seeing things until he looks and sees his wife enter an underground car park in the middle of the day, he's intrigued enough that he parks the car with  to follow her down.

But when he sees her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he naturally goes to her defense - and doesn't for a minute believe the accusations Ben makes against her. It's pure misfortune that, just as the clash becomes violent and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe's son has an asthma attack, and Joe has to take him to safety. Joe starts to investigate as much as he can, why his wife was at the underground car park that day, searches throughout the house and his wife's mobile phone (when he can) to try to get some answers but will he get the ones he wants or will there be a shocking conclusion!??

Well, I really LOVED Lies, it was brilliant and to be honest I CANNOT believe that this is a debut novel, it was so well constructed and clever.  It's full of twists, turns but above all the lies!!  I borrowed this on audio through Borrowbox in my library and as I was listening it it felt like there was an onion in my car with all the layers been peeled back to reveal so many lies and I did have a few gasp moments too. I'm sure people thought I was mad if they saw me in traffic in the car with reactions like that.

I don't want to say anymore about this other than go and get a copy of this now, you won't be disappointed.  I'm really looking forward to reading 29 Seconds now which was published on the 25th January 2018.


Lies is available from all good bookshops, libraries and is available on Kindle and is currently £0.99 at the time of publication of this review.