Wednesday 31 October 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ What Happened To Us by Faith Hogan

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for What Happened To Us by Faith Hogan where I've a guest piece about animals and to list her favourite 3 animals. I was thrilled to be asked by Faith Hogan herself 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 the review so without further ado, here it is:

Dog Days Indeed...

If you’ve spotted ‘What Happened to Us? floating about the internet, you can’t have not noticed the gorgeous dog in the foreground of the cover. I’m delighted to introduce this gorgeous character called Teddy to you today!
As you’re reading this, it will be almost a year since I talked Mr H into getting a family dog. Prior to this, we’ve had cats. We’ve had white cats, grey cats, red cats, fat cats and thin cats. Their personalities have run the gamut from clever cats to grumpy cats and everything in between. Basically, any cat that managed to walk into the garden has been offered refuge. Our very own cat was called Norris, an overweight, huge personality of a cat who managed to worm his way into the affections of everyone, even the decidedly non pet lover Mr H. 
Unfortunately, at the end of last year, our darling Norris, met his bumpy end on the nearby busy road, so it was time to welcome a new personality into our home. There was no replacing Norris, so another cat was out of the question.

pic courtesy of Keith Heneghan.

Enter Penny! A Labrador puppy who fills up our home and hearts as if she has always been part of us. I’ve always been a dog person, but it’s interesting to watch Mr H come to terms with the fact that he’s not getting much of a choice around loving Penny.  She has managed, with her gorgeous brown eyes and happy personality to win over even the most reluctant fan.

If you’ve read The Girl I Used To Know, you’ll probably remember a cat who managed to play some small part in making life better for more than just one character. In What Happened To Us? a small scrap of a dog manages to make his way into the lives of the main characters and just like life, I think he works his own special type of magic on the story!
It’s made me think about animals in fiction – the fact that cats and dogs are so prevalent and I thought it might be fun to list my favourite three....

Number 1 has to be Elsa:

We grew up with born free and recently watched it again on Netflix. My daughter,  who is just nine loved every second of it and you know, I thoroughly enjoyed it too, with this gorgeous big cat at the centre of the story. (if Mr H is reading this, don’t panic dear, I have no intention of looking for a Lion!)

Number 2 – this spot must go to Timmy:

The dog we all grew up with, even if you weren’t allowed to have a dog when you were growing up, you couldn’t help but understand the love of one solitary little girl for her dog. In Enid Blyton’s hands, Timmy ended up not just saving George and her cousins from danger, he actually connected them to start. It was when George realised how much he liked her cousins and they him, that she actually conceded, they might just be friends as well as cousins.

Number 3 – Orangey - the winner of two Patsy’s (the animal kingdoms Oscars!) 

Orangey symbolizes everything that’s wrong in Holly Golightly’s life – but don’t we all just want to cry when she finally sees the light and rescues him in the lashing rain?
And that’s it, the list could go on forever, but the thing is, cats, dogs, lions, it doesn’t really matter, there’s no getting away from the fact that in fiction, as much as in real life, the world is a better place if you have room in your heart for an animal to care about.

Friday 26 October 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ Hush, Hush by Mel Sheratt

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Hush, Hush by Mel Sherratt where I've 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 the review so without further ado, here it is:

Having taken her detective sergeant’s exam last year, when a post had come up in her birthplace of Stoke-on-Trent, she decided to put in for it. She needed a change, somewhere she could start afresh, even though she wasn’t quite sure it was a good decision to come back to the town from which she and her mum had fled all those years ago. But circumstances were different now. The man who had caused them so much pain was no longer around.
After she’d been offered the job, Grace had got an invite to join the team for a night out before her start date on Monday. There was only one officer who hadn’t been able to make it, someone called Alex Challinor, who had a previous engagement he couldn’t get out of, although no one had enlightened her as to what it was.
Around her, her new colleagues were sharing some in-joke. Then suddenly Nick Carter, their DI, stopped laughing and turned to her.
‘Sorry, we’re ignoring you. You say you lived in Stoke when you were younger, Grace?’ he asked.
All eyes fell on her. ‘Yes, until I was twelve,’ she replied. ‘Then my parents divorced and I moved to Salford with my mum.’
‘So, you don’t have many memories?’ DC Perry Wright asked.
‘I have a few,’ Grace nodded. She could remember far more than she would ever share with them. The nights she’d heard her mum screaming as her father laid into her. The times there was no money for food because he’d spent it all in the pub. The days when he would go missing and be brought home by the police after being locked up in a cell. The weeks he spent with other women before fighting his way back into their house again. The double life he led that she knew nothing of until she was old enough to understand . . . ‘But I expect so much has changed since then, anyway,’ she added.
‘Not much to write home about,’ Sam giggled. ‘But we still love it. And you’ll soon know the place, and its people. Even the undesirables.’
Nick raised his glass in the air. ‘Welcome to the Major Crimes Team.’
Everyone joined Nick in a toast. Only Perry, sitting opposite her, didn’t lift his eyes to hers as well. He hadn’t joined in the conversation much either, she’d noticed.

Monday 15 October 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ The Promise by Katerina Diamond

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Promise by Katerina Diamond where I've a review of the brilliant The Promise. 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 the review so without further ado, here it is:

You make it.  You break it.

When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father.

As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait – but will she take it too far and risk her own life?

WOW!!! Well, I thought The Teacher, The Secret and The Angel were  brilliant, The Promise was even better, I was pulled in from the first page & couldn't put it down once I got going, I absolutely LOVED it. As we discovered throughout the books 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 and The Angel. Set in the present day and in the past, we get more of a feel for DS Grey & her past & why she struggles to let anyone get close to her. We also get to know DS Miles a bit better too and the way he's been dealing with a lot since the aftermath of what happened in The Angel. 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. Katerina just keeps getting better with every books she writes. And, after that 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 Promise along with all previous 3 books in the series are available in all good bookshops, libraries, on audio and also available on Kindle where The Promise is currently £2.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Tuesday 2 October 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Tatoo Thief where I'm delighted to welcome Alison to my blog where I have a blog post about how Alison got the idea for The Tattoo Thief. I am really looking forward to reading this book and I'm really hoping to get it read over the next few weeks for you, Alison. I was thrilled to be asked by Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers who organised this tour in conjunction with Orion Publishing 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 post so without further ado, here it is:

How I got my idea for The Tattoo Thief


Before I get started on telling you how the whole idea for The Tattoo Thief came about, I just want to say a big thank you to Celeste for inviting me to be here on her blog today – it’s a great opportunity to introduce myself and tell you something about my story.

In 2015, I decided after much deliberation that I was going to get a tattoo. I’d always wanted one. My grandfather was a submariner and, while posted to China in the 1930s, he’d had a dragon tattooed on each arm. These fascinated me as a child, and my brother and I would always ask to see them when we visited. As I grew older, I remained interested, but as a young adult, tattoos weren’t as fashionable as they are now and certainly not that acceptable for women. So the idea of getting a tattoo of my own was put on the shelf.

Fast forward to 2015 when my own children were old enough to get tattoos themselves. Now I finally plucked up the courage to get my own tattoo – a Japanese-style octopus on my right arm. I’d gone to the London Tattoo Convention to find a tattooist and I chose one whose work I loved. He was based in Berlin, so that November, I made an appointment and flew to Berlin for the weekend. On the Saturday, I finally took the plunge and had six hours of tattooing on my arm. And, yes, before you ask, it did hurt!

That night, as I lay in bed, staining the pristine white hotel sheets with indelible black tattoo ink, I had just one thought: finally, I’ve got my tattoo – and no one can take it away from me. I felt really happy that I’d done what I wanted after so many years. However, the writer’s part of my brain is never quiet and always asking questions. What, came the thought, if someone did try to take it away from you? And in that instant, I knew I had an idea for a gripping crime thriller – The Tattoo Thief. A story about a man who steals other people’s tattoos.

Over the next eighteen months, this tiny kernel of an idea grew into a story outline and then into a novel which was eventually bought by Trapeze Books, a new and exciting imprint of Orion. It took another four sessions over the following six months to complete my tattoo – and not only do I really love having it, I also have it to thank for giving me the idea that became become my debut novel. People sometimes ask me if I regret having a tattoo and it always makes me smile. How could I?

Alison Belsham bio

Alison Belsham initially started writing with the ambition of becoming a screenwriter—and in 2000 was commended for her visual story telling in the Orange Prize for screenwriting. In 2001 she was shortlisted in a BBC Drama Writer competition. Life and children intervened but, switching to fiction, in 2009 her novel Domino was selected for the prestigious Adventures in Fiction mentoring scheme. In 2016 she pitched her first crime novel, The Tattoo Thief, at the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and was judged the winner. The Tattoo Thief is out now and she’s currently working on the second book in the Francis Sullivan trilogy, Death’s Needle. Alison lives in Edinburgh, and when she’s not writing she spends her time visiting tattoo conventions.