#Giveaway The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

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Today I have a very special Giveaway I’m offering one lucky reader the chance to win a hardback copy of The Friend by Dorothy Koomson and a very special letter from the author herself written on seeded paper, you basically put the paper in compost, water it and watch the seeds from the paper grow into a bunch of flowers 🌸🌼🌻💐how brilliant is that? Before  I give you details on how to enter here’s the book description for you

Book description

What secret would you kill to keep?
After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret. Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.
Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life. That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . . .

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher: Century (1 Jun. 2017)

Link to buy: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
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Unfortunately this competition is open to UK residents only due to postage costs. The winner of this giveaway will be notified within 24 hours of competition ending. Competition ends midnight 29th June 2017 

Enter to win a beautifully wrapped hardback copy of The Friend and the seeded paper here………. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/86b4d40512/?

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My thanks to the publishers Century and Dorothy Koomson for sending me this fabulous #Giveaway

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne #BookReview @KarenDionne

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Book description

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

img_1258What a year 2017 is turning out to be, there have been some truly outstanding thrillers published this year and I was convinced I had read the best in this genre and then along came The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne. Oh my oh my what a book, this one is definitely going to be one of the top books of summer 2017 and it’s one that’s immediately gone on my top reads of 2017.

Helena had the best time and the most horrifying time growing up, daughter of a child abductor she spent the first twelve years of her life in captivity, raised to be a hunter everything her father teaches her has a disturbing purpose. Fast forward a few years and Helena is married with children living a fairly normal life, that is until her father the aptly named Marsh King escapes from prison and what follows is a heart pounding and throughly compelling read.

From the opening chapter the author grabbed my attention, this novel is beautifully written with breath taking descriptions of the marsh lands, a place that despite the wilderness felt claustrophobic. Poor Helena what a wonderful and complex character she is, The Marsh King is not purely a figure of evil, to Helene he’s a father, the man who taught her to fish and to hunt, but there is always an undertone of darkness and something very sinister about The Marsh King’s parental skills. The story alternates between the present as Helena hunts for her escaped father, and the past when they lived alone in the marshlands. The author moves deftly between the two time lines and I found myself equally fascinated by both.

Each chapter starts with a part of the The Marsh King’s Daughter fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson, as we all know some of the best fairy tales are also the scariest and as the story relates to Helena’s own life it adds to the overwhelming sense of foreboding that radiates from the pages of this novel.
Expertly plotted and wonderfully written this novel made for haunting and compelling read, it’s one of those books that just begs to be read in one satisfying sitting. This is one book I will be recommending to anyone and everybody.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear I’m giving The Marsh King’s Daughter the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 322 pages

Publisher: Sphere (13 Jun. 2017)

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**Blog Tour** Exquisite by Sarah Stovell @Orendabooks @Sarahlovescrime #BookReview

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Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the blog tour for Exquisite by Sarah Stovall which is published by one of my favourite publisher on the planet Orenda Books. I seem to have been waiting forever to share my review of this throughly gripping novel which I read a few months back. My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda books and Anne Cater for allowing me to be part of this awesome book blog tour.

Book description

Bo Luxton has it all—a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it?

Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page

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Oh my goodness I’ve thought long and hard about my review for this book and I’m not convinced I can do this book justice, it’s just one of those books that takes your breath away, it’s such an unique psychological thriller that I’m positive this book will haunt me for weeks to come. After I read Exquisite by Sarah Stovell I looked up the definition Exquisite: of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, colouring, music, or poetry, or in this case a book because the definition actually sums up this book perfectly, beautifully written, superb characterisation, twisted but compelling, without a shadow of doubt this book has gone straight onto my top reads of 2017.

Bo Luxton is a successful mature author, married with a two young daughters and appears to have the perfect life. Alice Dark is a young aspiring writer who is the polar opposite to Bo she’s young, with no direction and her life appears to be a mess. When the two women meet on a Creative Writing course a sinister relationship develops between the pair. As the plot develops It soon becomes apparent that both characters are very troubled souls, what follows is one of the most perfectly twisted and intense books I’ve read in a long time.

Exquisite is the perfect example of a psychological thriller, the author deftly draws the reader in, but throughout you are trying to work out which of the two characters are the more reliable narrator and even when I had finished this book, I still wasn’t sure who was telling the truth, but it certainly made for a gripping read. This book is very much character led and the author has done a superb job, so much so the characters come to life, they may not be the most likeable characters I’ve come across but I won’t be forgetting either of them in a hurry that’s for sure.

Throughout the book there is an undercurrent of rage, manipulation and madness which add layer upon layer of trepidation, you just can’t help wondering where the plot is heading, leaving the reader with a constant sense of foreboding. There is no doubt in my mind that Sarah Stovell has written a very accomplished psychological thriller its deliciously dark, highly addictive and it’s definitely one of those books you will struggle to put down.

Links to buy:      Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell was published by Orenda Books in paperback on 15 June 2017.

About the author

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Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, is set in the Lake District.

 

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Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips #BookReview @GinPhillips17 @TransworldBooks @alisonbarrow #Giveaway

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Book description

An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him.

The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours–the entire scope of the novel–she keeps on running.

Suddenly, mother and son are as trapped as the animals. Joan’s intimate knowledge of this place that filled early motherhood with happy diversions–the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines–is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.

img_1258Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips is one of those novels that will strike fear into every parent, it will make you hold your child that little bit closer and make you more protective of your most treasured possessions. Not only does this novel make for a powerful and emotional read, but it unfortunately it’s also a very terrifying and a credible one due to the recent heartbreaking events in Manchester.

What would you do if you were having a day at the zoo with your young child and all of a sudden that perfect day was marred by a gunman shooting people at random? That is exactly what Joan faces when she finds herself caught up in the terrifying events. Without doubt there is nothing stronger than a mothers love and Fierce Kingdom explores the maternal bond between mother and son, which begs the question just how far will a mother go to protect her four year old son from the dangers facing them?

Gin Phillips certainly knows how to draw the reader in, from the very first chapter with a tense and horrifying opening scene I found myself desperate to read more, I found myself willing Joan and her son Lincoln to find a safe place to hide, I felt Joan’s fear, her instinct to protect her son rang true, all these factors added a constant sense of terror to what was a thrilling read.

Fierce Kingdom is so much more than a tale of a parent trying to protect her child, its a tale of survival, it explores how people in the most awful situations are bound together. Although this is a relatively short book it manages to pack so much in. Yes it’s hard hitting and disturbing and yet it’s also an exhilarating and emotive read that begs to be read in one sitting. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Alison Barrow at Transworld for sending me a copy to review in exchange for an unbiased review.

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Transworld 15th June 2017

Buying links:         Amazon UK 🇬🇧                  Amazon US 🇺🇸

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The publishers kindly sent me two paperback copies of Fierce Kingdom, and so I’m giving one copy away, this is one book you don’t want to miss, prior to publication it’s already deemed to be one of the top books of 2017.

Now for the boring bit……sorry this competition is open to entrants in the UK 🇬🇧 only.  competition closes at midnight Sunday 11th June 2017, and winner will be notified within 24 hours of winning. You can enter the giveaway here…….http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/86b4d40511/?

Sweet Pea by C J Skuse #Bookreview #Guestreview by @JoannaLouisePar @HQStories

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Today Jo is sharing her review for Sweet Pea by C J Skuse. This ones on my TBR pile, but I’m in two minds about reading it as from the reviews I’ve read it’s very much a “marmite” book, but after reading Jo’s review I may just read it to see which camp I would fall into. My thanks to Jo for her fab review and so without further ado…….

Book description

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcoholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder.

IMG_1712To the outside world Rhiannon seems like a shy, retiring girl. Just a normal girl working in a job where she isn’t appreciated, has friends that she hates and her boyfriend is cheating on her. Everyone thinks she is a real Sweetpea. However hiding just beneath the surface, Rhiannon is very angry. Angry at rude people and loud noises. For Rhiannon hides a dark secret, she is a serial killer, killing those who dare to annoy her or try to cause her harm and who knows who her next victim will be?

This was a fairly unusual book for me as I found myself actually feeling sorry for the serial killer. Rhiannon is very funny and some of her observations/ comments had me laughing out loud. She has a very astute way of looking at the world and telling things exactly as they are. At first you think her comments are unfair or unjustified but as you learn more about her life, both past and present, you realise that there are good reasons for her being like she us. As you learn more about her, you start feeling sorry for her and hoping that she will gave a happy ending. It was interesting  to get inside the mind of a serial killer and find out more about what makes them tick and what motivates them to kill.

The book is written in the easy, intimate style of a diary which helps trick the reader into thinking that they are reading a normal persons diary. This helps the murdersceens seem more shocking and violent. Fair warning some of these scenes are quite gruesome with what’s happening to the victims being described in vivid detail. Some of the language throughout the book is a bit offensive so if you are easily offended it might be best to avoid.

This is quite an easy to read book. The general tone and flow of the book means you are able to read it quite fast. The fact that the main character is quite likeable, despite being a serial killer, means that you want to keep reading to find out what will happen next. I loved the ‘kill lists’ or summaries at the beginning of each chapter, it made it easier to keep up with everything that’s going on.

There is quite a lot of tension throughout the book which increases as more murders are committed and the story hurtles towards its conclusion. I was constantly wondering what would happen next and worrying she was going to get caught. The twist towards the end really took me by surprise as I really wasn’t expecting it. I think the ending was a very good and appropriate way to end the book, though it wasn’t the way I wanted it to end!

The blurb describes this book as a cross between Bridget Jones and Dexter which is a really good description of it! This is the debut book from this author and I look forward to reading many from her. Thank you to Anna Baggaley and HQ stories for my copy of this book.

Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQ (20 April 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis #BookReview 

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Book description

TWO GIRLS GO TO A PARTY, ONLY ONE RETURNS ALIVE

Toni, the surviving teenager, is found delirious, wandering the muddy fields. She has been drugged and it’s uncertain whether she’ll survive. She says she saw her friend Emily being dragged away from the party. But no one knows who Emily is or even if she’s still alive. . .
Meanwhile the drowned body of another girl has been found on an isolated beach.
And how does this all relate to the shocking disappearance of a little girl nearly a decade ago, a crime which was never solved? The girl’s mother is putting immense pressure on the police to re-open the high-profile case.

EACH ONE OF THEM IS SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER AND THE POLICE MUST GIVE THEIR FAMILIES JUSTICE AND CLOSURE

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland police are stretched to the limit as they try to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice.
There is evidence of an illegal drinking club run by a shadowy group of men, who are grooming teenagers. And the team come across a sinister former hospital called Windrush which seems to house many dark secrets.

img_1258Don’t you just love it when you pick up a book by an author you’ve never read before, with no expectations and it’s just so darn good you’re left wondering why and how you’ve never read this authors books before. That’s exactly how I’m feeling after picking up The Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis, my god it’s good, in fact it was that good it made for an outstanding and engrossing read and definitely one that I was reluctant to put down.

This is the second book in Jackman and Evans crime series but it can be easily read as a standalone. From the opening chapter when a young girls body is found on the beach I just knew this one was going to grip me and it certainly did not disappoint. As the plot evolves the reader is presented with many threads a missing girl, a cold case and illegal drinks club. The author expertly links them together and slowly but deftly reveals horrors that are unimaginable.

Jackman, Evans and the rest of the team are an interesting bunch, they are very much a team which is pretty unusual in a crime thriller as most police teams have some animosity between them, that’s not a criticism in fact I found it refreshing. The back drop of the Fens give this book an atmospheric feel, and running throughout is a sense of evil that I found at times overwhelming. As the plot becomes more complex Joy Ellis throws in some deliciously twisted turns that I never seen coming. I loved the way the author expertly drew all the threads together in a way that left me open mouthed with its very imaginative conclusion.

Despite the subject matter the author doesn’t go into the finer detail, so this book never made for an uncomfortable read, but it certainly made for a suspense filled one. Although the plot line may not be the the most credible at times, this in no way spoilt my enjoyment of The Lost Daughters. Dark and menacing, this book was one I found hard to put down and I really am kicking myself for not reading this authors books before.

Paperback: 329 pages

Publisher: JOFFE BOOKS (27 Mar. 2017)

Amazon Uk 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

#CoverReveal The Detriment by David Videcette @DavidVidecette #TheDetriment

 

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This evening I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover for The Detriment, by David Videcette. This is his second detective thriller and launches on 29th June, but you can pre-order it on Kindle today. I’m so excited about this book as it follows on from The Theseus Paradox which I loved, but before I reveal the cover here’s a post from the author himself.

A COMPELLING DETECTIVE THRILLER BASED ON TRUE EVENTS

Today, crime fighter turned crime writer,  David Videcette is very excited to share with us a cover reveal for his second thriller, The Detriment. David says: “After twenty years in the police, I’m used to unmasking criminals, but today I’m delighted to be revealing the cover of The Detriment for the very first time.”

“A detective thriller, it follows on from  The Theseus Paradox my first novel, which was set against the backdrop of the 7/7 London attacks. In this second outing for Detective Jake Flannagan, he sails close to the wind as he struggles to thwart a nightclub bomb plot and a burning Jeep attack on an airport. I use my detective knowledge in my books and The Detriment is once again based on true events and actual police investigations.”

Here are David’s top five tips for creating a cover:

1. Remember that we all judge a book by its cover, even if we say we don’t! Give the cover as much thought you would your writing.
2. Kickstart the process by throwing together a ‘mood board’ of things which appeal – and even things which don’t!
3. Design should always reflect your book’s content, otherwise it’s just decoration.
4. Have an outline idea of what you’d like, but try and stay flexible.
5. Engage with the professionals, because you’ll need their design expertise to make your book look as good as it can.

The Detriment, David Videcette’s second detective thriller launches on 29th June, but you can pre-order it on Kindle  HERE

Find out more about David Videcette and his books based on true events here, http://www.davidvidecette.com/about-david

or chat to David on Facebook or Twitter

So without further ado and a drum roll here’s the fabulous cover for The Detriment, don’t you just love it? I’m so excited to read this one and don’t forget you can pre-order your copy right now.

The truth costs white crack 2 justified bottomDarker I can't tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story... the detriment